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Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said the city is still waiting for the approval from the Department of Health (DOH) to operate its own testing center for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Teodoro said the DOH already assessed their laboratory on Monday. However, the department has yet to send them the final report of the evaluation.

Teodoro said the local government wanted to start the testing in their laboratory on Monday, but the DOH stopped them.

“Dapat po kahapon po kami nagsimula, pero pinigilan po kami ng DOH dahil i-aassess muna raw nila at i-evaluate. Naiipit kami sa regulatory requirement,” he said.

“Initially, ang assessment maayos naman pero 'yun nga hinihintay ko 'yung final report,” he added.

Teodoro pointed out that the DOH should not treat the local government as an applicant who is seeking a license to operate a laboratory.

He assured everyone that their facility has complied with the standard of the DOH and University of the Philippines National Institute of Health.

“Kung gusto nila, I could turn over the facility to DOH para sa ganun sila na ang mamamahala. Tulong na po ‘yun ng local na pamahalaan,” he said.

“Ang aking pinaggigiitan lamang po, magkaroon tayo ng mas maraming available na test kits, mas maraming testing centers na magagamit ang ating mga kababayan. Makaka-access sila. Hindi issue kung sino ang magma-manage o sino ang mamamahala,” he added.

The mayor said the testing enter will also be opened to neighboring cities.

According to DOH, there are only seven accredited testing facilities for COVID-19 in the country. The DOH also earlier said that the country’s testing capacity is limited.

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