MANILA – The directive to subject Filipino nationals to a daily coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) test in Macau is "purely a health issue" and should not be politicized, the Philippine Consulate General in Macau said Saturday.
The Macau government earlier ordered any resident who holds a Philippine passport to take a daily nucleic test from July 22 to 24.
In an advisory, the consulate said the order is solely based on the volume of Filipinos who have caught the disease which, for the past two weeks, make up 24.5 percent of the community infection in Macau.
"The Philippine Consulate General, at the outset of this directive, has issued its position taking the directive as purely a health issue. And yet there are those who remain focused on politicizing this. To put this issue to rest, the Philippine Consulate General has expressed its agreement to the findings shared by the Macau Health Bureau that necessitates the issuance of a directive to our nationals in Macau," it said.
The consulate noted that the same directive had been imposed on other nationals from neighboring countries in the past and it "worked" without anyone raising a discrimination issue out of it.
"Are we Filipinos better than our sisters and brothers from our neighbor countries just because we have a significant number in Macau?" the advisory read.
"The Filipino community and other migrant communities belong to the larger society of Macau now facing a serious threat. Let us all be part of the solution and provide our support and cooperation in fulfilling our role to help overcome this clear and present danger."
A July 21 report by financial, software, data, and media company Bloomberg quoted health official Leong Iek Hou as saying that Filipinos "tend to have more gatherings, like meeting among friends" in Macau.
“It’s likely that they have more interactions within their own ethnicity, so we need to find out whether there are hidden sources of infections among them via frequent testing,” Leong said.
About 30,000 Filipinos reside and work in Macau, based on the latest data from the consulate. (PNA)