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Salceda calls for more testing, as vaccine flow remains restricted

September 9th, 2021

Salceda calls for more testing, as vaccine flow remains restricted; House tax chair says daily vaccine arrivals ‘just half’ of LGU capacity to jab

House Ways and Means Chair Joey Sarte Salceda (Albay, 2nd district) called on the Interagency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases to increase testing to 150,000 per day over the next few weeks, as the Delta variant of COVID-19 ravages various areas of the country.

During the 29th Metro Manila Business Conference: Innovation for Sustainable Leadership, organized by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Salceda said that the country is receiving ‘just around 450,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines per day. This is just half of our capacity to jab.”

The PCCI is the country’s largest organization of businesses across all sizes, including small and medium enterprises.

“Actually, the best effort to restore business operations, including the tourism sector’s businesses, is to expedite vaccination. Testing is more expensive than vaccination. But, while the vaccines aren’t here yet, we have no choice, we have to test,” Salceda said.

“To stop the transmission, you have to catch the sources. That’s why testing is our best bet, without the vaccines,” Salceda added.

“To stop the crime, basically you catch the criminal. To stop contagion, you catch the spreader and isolate them.”

Tax chief: ‘Masking works’

Salceda added that the way his district was able to defeat the April to June surge of COVID-19 cases was by ‘universal distribution of masks’

“We gave masks to practically everyone in my district three times. We gave almost one million masks,” Salceda said.

In comments after the conference, Salceda added that “the Department of Health Undersecretary and Treatment Czar Leopoldo Vega also publicly praised our treatment expansion efforts especially in the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital.”

“We did not do anything spectacular. We just gave masks to everyone. I’m telling you, masking works. Of course, Delta is another matter, and we’ll see how we can do this,” Salceda said.

“But basically, until the vaccines arrive, we need more testing.” Salceda concluded.

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