Parañaque mayor orders inspection of suspected underground Chinese-run clinic

From news.mb.com.ph by Jean Fernando:

Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez on (June 16) directed City Police chief Col. Robin Sarmiento to conduct an immediate operation against an illegal hospital and medical clinic that caters to Chinese and conducts testing for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Multinational Subdivision, Barangay Moonwalk.

Olivarez issued the order after receiving a request letter from concerned residents asking him to have the village inspected after some unknown Chinese nationals were observed frequently entering commercial buildings, rented homes, and condo units in the gated subdivision.

The mayor said local residents of the village suspect that an illegal clinic still exists there even after the National Bureau of Investigation-Task Force Against Illegal Drugs raided an illegal clinic found inside a house on Timothy Street on May 29.

Seized in the raid were boxes of dextrose, beach chairs, unregistered medicines used to treat respiratory illness, swab samples, face masks, and gloves, most of which had Chinese labels.

Operatives caught four Chinese nationals identified as Liang Junshai, Pingqiang Long, Yanyun Jiang, and Tang Hong Shan inside the illegal clinic. One of them reportedly got injured after trying to escape by jumping from the third floor.

A week after the NBI raid, Sarmiento believed that there is a possibility there are more underground Chinese clinics in Parañaque because there are many Chinese nationals who reside in the city.

Olivarez said that Multinational Village, about five kilometers from Ninoy Aquino International Airport and nine kilometers from Villamor Air Base of the Philippine Air Force, used to be a quiet, gated residential community.

But the rise of the Philippine offshore gaming operation (POGO) industry in recent years has brought about a “dramatic increase” in Chinese nationals who are renting in big residential houses and condominium units located in Barangays Baclaran, Tambo, BF Homes, and Multinational Village.

Records from the city’s Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) showed that there are about 19 legal POGO operations in the city, mostly located at the Entertainment City in Coastal Road and Roxas Boulevard.

With this, several residents of the gated subdivision said they fear they might be at risk of contracting COVID-19.

City administrator Fernando Soriano said that about 35,000 to 40,000 Chinese nationals, mostly working for POGO companies, presently residing in different barangays near the POGO establishments.

However, Soriano assured residents that the city government is taking appropriate precautionary measures provided by the city health office to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Olivarez also ordered city health officer Dr. Olga Virtusio to conduct a weekly swab testing in Multinational Village.

He also directed BPLO chief Melanie Malaya to regularly inspect all commercial establishments after learning that huge businesses operated by Chinese nationals but using Filipino fronts are not paying annual license fees and taxes.

Likewise, the mayor instructed city building official chief Diamela Apolinario to examine the building permits of the condominiums and residential houses in the village that are reportedly not issuing receipts to the foreign tenants.

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