Deport, blacklist Chinese nationals in underground COVID-19 clinics

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“Deport and blacklist these criminals. Hindi pwedeng ang higpit natin sa mga Pilipino pero maluwag tayo sa mga Chinese na sangkot sa krimen.”

This was the remark of Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday as she called for the immediate deportation and blacklisting of Chinese nationals who were caught involved in unauthorized makeshift medical facilities allegedly catering to Chinese patients suspected of infection with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

“While we are working hard to protect our people from the virus, these criminals freely roam and pose danger to public health. This blatant disregard of our laws should merit immediate deportation and blacklisting,” Hontiveros said in a statement. “Insulto ito sa ating mga batas, at insulto rin sa bawat Pilipinong sumusunod sa ating quarantine measures,” she added.

The senator made her call after the raid of various establishments in ParaƱaque, Pampanga, and Makati that were found to be illegally operating as hospitals and pharmacies primarily catering to employees of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGO) and Chinese nationals.

Chinese operators of said makeshift hospitals may face charges for the violation of the Food and Drug Administration Law, Medical Act of 1959 and the Hospital Licensure Act.

Hontiveros emphasized that underground and unlicensed medical facilities pose as a danger to public health. “They have zero regulation and can be a source of community transmission,” she said. “We will be putting communities at risk and waste our quarantine efforts because of these medical facilities,” Hontiveros added.

Hontiveros also called on the government to double its efforts in cracking down on underground medical facilities. “We can never be lenient towards this reckless behavior. Buhay ng mga Pilipino ang nakasalalay,” she urged. SENATE.GOV.PH