PAGCOR urged to fund Covid-19 tests for PUV drivers, LSIs
Public Health

PAGCOR urged to fund Covid-19 tests for PUV drivers, LSIs

Apr 6, 2021, 8:56 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz

Columnist

The national government should tap into revenues from POGOs collected by Pagcor to fund free Covid-19 testing, a pary-list congressman said.

Last weekend, nearly 80 passengers of colorum vehicles going to Bicol Region from the NCR have tested positive for Covid-19

SINCE President Duterte has previously ordered the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) to fund public health programs, perhaps part of its gambling revenues can be used to finance the free Covid-19 testing of public utility drivers and stranded passengers.

This was the proposal of Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. of the AKO Bicol Partylist, who chairs the committee on constitutional amendment of the Lower House,to ensure that passengers and drivers of utility vehicles, FXs, buses and jeepneys allowed to take provincial routes will be included in free testing or RT-PCR.

"Recalling the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte that Pagcor will be focused more on funding public health programs, I appeal to Malacanang, the Department of Finance, and the Department of Transportation to work with Pagcor to channel some of their gambling revenues toward provision of free RT-PCR COVID testing to all persons stranded at the seaports, airports, and transport terminals,” Garbin said in a statement.

"Please include in the free RT-PCR testing the drivers and passengers of the UVs, FXs, buses allowed to take provincial routes like those going to and coming from Bicol," the solon urged.

Last weekend, nearly 80 passengers of colorum vehicles going to Bicol Region from the NCR have tested positive for Covid-19, the DOTr said. (See: Tugade to colorum drivers: Don’t be Covid-19 spreaders )

"Ganyan ang resulta kapag walang libreng testing, magpapalusot ang marami. Pero kung libre naman ang testing, lahat yan kusang-loob na magpapa-test," Garbin said.

POGO operations have continued despite the different community quarantines imposed last year and this year.

That should mean revenues for PAGCOR and with that income PAGCOR should be able to subsidize 100 percent the cost of RT-PCR testing in the transport sector starting with the vehicles with provincial routes to reduce the spread of Covid-19 to the provinces.

For the PUJ and PUB drivers and conductors in Metro Manila, some Pantawid Pasada funds should be used to pay for vaccines and Covid-19 testing for all of them.

Testing and vaccinating them would effectively help suppress the spread of Covid-19. (RdlC)

Tags: #Covid19, #RTPCRtesting, #Pagcor, #AkoBicolPartylist

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