DAGUPAN CITY, Aug. 10 (PIA) - To further enhance the response measures against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the City Government of Dagupan allocated at least Php9.7 million as additional funding for the city's COVID-19 testing program.
Dagupan City Mayor Marc Brian Lim said it is important for the city to invest in a testing program because the threat caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is still present.
"We have that fund prepared because we do not know how long this pandemic will last. And to keep the economy open, it is very important that we keep on testing so we can find, isolate and treat immediately," Lim said.
Lim said the additional funding is included in the supplementary budget approved by the City Council on July 30, 2020.
He said the funds will be used for the purchase of additional reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test and rapid test kits, as well as for the processing of swab samples to be sent to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
Since March, at least 6,422 people have benefited from the city's testing program.
Of the number, some 2,835 people underwent the RT-PCR test while some 3,587 people underwent a rapid antibody test.
Aside from frontliners, the city government of Dagupan also conducted random risk-based testing for COVID-19 in all its public places in the city since July focusing on vulnerable individuals and critical sectors to detect, isolate and treat possible carriers of the virus.
Meanwhile, during the Laging Handa Network Briefing News, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said in a letter from the Russian Federation to the Philippines Ambassador Igor Khovaev, shared by Senator Christopher "Bong" Go, that Russia will soon finish its COVID-19 vaccine which is now on its Phase 3 of the clinical trial.
Andanar said that when the vaccine is available, "the government should prioritize our poor countrymen, especially those who cannot afford such drugs."
"Dapat mapaghandaan na at matiyak na makapagtatabi ng budget ang gobyerno para masigurong matulungan ang mga pinaka-nangangailangan," he said on Monday.
The Laging Handa Network Briefing News, which is hosted by Secretary Andanar, airs daily from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Radyo Pilipinas and can also be viewed at the Philippine Information Agency's regional and provincial Facebook pages around the country. (AMB/EMSA/PIA Pangasinan)