THE country inaugurated its largest molecular laboratory capable of detecting the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and other contagious diseases at the former Philippine Red Cross (PRC) headquarters in Port Area Manila on June 27, 2020.
The project was an initiative of the PRC. It was partly funded by Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings through an P18 million donation, which was coursed through their corporate social responsibility arms Metrobank Foundation Inc. (MBFI) and the Ty family’s GT Foundation Inc. (GTFI).
The donation went for the construction and equipping the facility with two automated extraction machines for testing of samples. With additional contributions from the Australian Embassy and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FFCCCII), the laboratory has an overall capacity to test 14,000 samples a day.
The ceremonies were led by PRC chairman Sen. Richard Gordon, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, National Task Force on Covid-19 deputy chief implementer Vivencio Dizon, Australian Ambassador Steven Robinson, GTFI president and Federal Land chairman Alfred Ty, MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña and FFCCCII president Henry Bon Liong.
“We have been working hard in supporting various initiatives to address and combat the effects of the pandemic since the start of the lockdown. We advocate and support the conduct of ‘Test, Trace and Treat’ or T3 in order to identify the various factors in the development and mitigation of the spread of the virus which could lead in flattening the curve,” Ty said in a speech.
The donation was part of the P220 million contribution by Metrobank Group and GT Capital Holdings to fund and support efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and help those in need.
The amount was allocated for the purchase of personal protective equipment to benefit healthcare and security frontliners; support for the production of reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, or RT-PCR, testing kits through the Univeristy of the Philippines National Institutes of Health; Project Ugnayan led by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation; and distribution of meals and food packs to underprivileged families.
It also went to the construction and equipping of molecular laboratories for the testing of cases in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH), PRC and Ayala Group; and Go Negosyo’s Project ARK (Antibody Rapid test Kits) of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship Foundation.
Also last month, Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. donated 30 Vios units for the mobility of healthcare frontliners of the DOH and local government hospitals.