Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Tuesday prodded the Department of Health to level up its response to the COVID-19 threat, after noting many of its actions were delayed.
Lacson lamented what he called a backlog in the implementation of responses to the COVID-19 threat, mostly from the DOH.
“Ngayon ang backlog natin nasa implementation. Lagi tayong late eh,” he said in an interview on DZBB and GMA News TV.
When told by anchors that DOH officials claimed they are just being cautious, he said they can be cautious without being too slow.
“Pwede ka naman maingat pero mabilis. Pag ang ingat mo inabot ng buwan di na ingat yan, baka tamad ka na lang,” he said.
“Ang problema nga, napakabagal natin. Pwede naman mag-aral nang mabilis. Sabi nag-iingat, pwede ka mag-ingat pero bilis-bilisan mo naman ang action mo. Hindi sa pag-aano, mabagal ang DOH natin talaga, laging late,” he added.
Lacson cited the delay by the DOH and its agencies in approving test kits, with the Food and Drug Administration approving rapid test kits only this week.
“Ka-approve ng rapid test kits, what took them so long? Samantalang ginagamit na ito sa ibang bansa,” he said.
Also, Lacson pointed out posts on social media questioning why the government was late in banning flights from areas where COVID cases had been reported.
Lacson noted the DOH could have also mounted an education drive in using the test kits so the public would know the difference between positive, negative, false positive and false negative findings.
He added Filipinos should not be made to wait until they experience severe symptoms before being tested.
“It’s just a matter of educating. Ang problema bakit ayaw approve-in ng DOH and FDA. Malaking tulong sana yan,” he said.
“Kasi urgent ito, emergency na tayo, kailangan ang measure emergency. Extraordinary ito kailangan ang measure natin extraordinary. Ano hihintayin natin maging worse bago makita ang better?” he added.