Saliva test kits, and where is the UP developed test kit?
During the first half of this year there was the UP Covid-19 test kit which was dirt cheap at P1,320.00 compared to imported ones which the DOH was then using. The imported ones cost more than P10,000.00 then.
When the UP test kits were about to be used on a massive scale, the DOH managed to question its efficacy so its use was suspended. Finally, after several months, it was given the go-signal for commercial use. The delay of several months cost the government a lot of money—that means our money. The big question is, “Who made money from the delay in the use of the UP test kits whose efficacy has been validated by all sectors—government and private sector scientists, and the academe?” The answer, of course, is a no-brainer. The importers cum suppliers of the DOH and their co-conspirators in that department. Billions of pesos were made in that caper, even during the several months of delay in the use of the UP test kits.
That is even if several senators called on the DOH to make use of the UP test kits to save money, it is still not being massively used. Now, the promotion of the use of those kits, have all but died. They, the DOH syndicate with its supplier co-conspirators, appear to have succeeded in blocking its promotion for mass use.
Now, there are saliva test kits that are being used by other countries. While private personalities are calling for government to make use of such as they are very cheap—as low as US$5 per—the government through the DOH looks like it was the last one to come to know about these.
The same reason is behind this as the one in blocking the use of the UP test kits—the big money going into the pockets of the importers and dealers of the more expensive kits and their co-conspirators at the DOH. Such money is our money, we are coughing it out.
Now and then, a whimper is raised (even by senators and other top government officials) against such attitude of the DOH of needlessly wasting our money, but these are often silenced in due time.
Once the lead government agency in the procurement and use of those kits is silenced then a big part of the job is accomplished. The ball can then be taken to the doorsteps of the recalcitrant officials questioning such. That should be a lot easier to accomplish and would cost much less. We even have coined a phrase to describe this situation: “Pera pera lang ‘yan.”
So when will we see the massive use of saliva test kits for efficiency in conducting tests and to save on money? It will still be a long way from here.**