Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has denounced reports which claimed that the government currently does not have any plans for mass testing. Roque countered that these were inaccurate and taken out of context.
He clarified that his ‘no mass testing’ remark was made in the context of that in Wuhan, China, which aims to test at least 11 million residents. Instead, the Philippines is aiming for the world benchmark of testing at least 1.5 – 2% of a country’s total population, similar to South Korea.
While the government has no mass testing, palace spokesman Harry Roque said they are implementing "expanded target testing."Roque said that unlike Wuhan City, China where mass testing was conducted for its residents "hindi po natin 'yun gagawin sa buong Pilipinos, hindi nga natin yan magawa sa buong Metro Manila. Kaya ang ginagawa natin is a systematic program of targeted testing."
Posted by Philstar.com on Monday, May 18, 2020
‘Perhaps, what we have to admit is that we are still building up our testing capacity’, said Roque per The Manila Bulletin.
‘We are aiming to test 30,000 persons a day which is similar to what South Korea is doing and admittedly we are far from that’.
The national government is currently aiming to up its 8,000 daily testings to 30,000 by May 31.
Roque also disapproved of the term ‘mass testing’ as a whole, as he believed this is a misnomer. Instead, he opts for ‘expanded targeted testing’, which the government is currently adopting.
‘Wala pong bansa sa buong mundo na tinetest ang lahat ng kanilang mamamayan. Kaya nga po mali ang terminong mass testing’, added Roque.
He also denied that the entire responsibility of tests is being passed by the government to the private sector. Roque sees it more as a mutual partnership between the two.
‘From the very beginning, it has really been a public-private partnership as far as testing is concerned. Businesses know that the economy cannot reopen without a significant number of our population being subjected to testing’.