Negros Oriental inaugurates EDC-sponsored Covid-19 testing facility

TESTING FACILITY. EDC Negros Oriental facility head Debonaire Mamhot (left) recently turned over the RT-PCR machines to Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo (right) and the Negros Oriental IATF group. (Photo Caption)

THE provincial government of Negros Oriental, Lopez geothermal energy leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC), and Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH) have inaugurated the province’s first and much-needed molecular testing center Wednesday, October 28, 2020.

The testing facility will enable more timely reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing of Covid-19 swab samples from local residents once it completes all accreditation requirements and gets the green light from the Department of Health.

The landmark agreement was signed in early September by Negros Oriental Governor Roel Ragay Degamo, Hospital Incident Command System Commander and Chair of IATF–EID Committee on Health Dr. Liland Estacion, Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH) Head Dr. Mark Angelo Llosa, EDC President and Chief Operating Officer Richard B. Tantoco, Assistant Vice President and Corporate Support Functions Head Regina Victoria J. Pascual, Corporate Social Responsibility and Public Relations Head lawyer. Allan V. Barcena, and Negros CSR Head Norreen G. Bautista, and was witnessed by Deputy Chief Implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases against Covid-19, Secretary Vivencio B. Dizon.

NOPH will operate and maintain the facility with the P11-million worth of equipment, including two state-of-the-art real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) machines, that EDC has donated. With the two RT-PCR machines that can process up to 500 swab tests per day, the laboratory will greatly expedite the processing of Covid-19 swab samples, with results released within the day unlike before when it took up to ten days for Negrenses to get them from the nearest testing centers in Cebu City.

For its part, EDC reiterated its commitment to uplift the lives of the residents in its partner communities and to help them get through this Covid-19 pandemic.

“We are thankful to have a significant role in putting up the province’s first testing facility. It is our way of showing our unwavering commitment to help the Negrenses thrive amid this health and economic crisis and our solid support to the leadership of Governor Degamo, whom we consider as one of our regenerative partners,” said Tantoco.

He was describing Governor Degamo as one of the company’s partners in fulfilling the new mission of forging collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future that EDC and the rest of the Lopez group have committed to fulfill. Being regenerative is about elevating the state of everything that EDC touches such as the environment and the organizations that they partner with.

“EDC is one with Negros Oriental in its battle against this virus. Our almost 40-year strong partnership has prepared us for this crisis,” added Tantoco.

EDC owns and operates the 222.5-megawatt Negros geothermal facility, the company’s second biggest site located in Negros Oriental that has been providing uninterrupted supply of clean, renewable power to Negros Island and to the rest of the Visayas region for over 37 years.

In total, EDC generates over 40 percent of the Philippines’ renewable energy output and serves about 10 percent of the country’s overall electricity demand with its installed capacity of 1,499MW. Its 1,200MW geothermal portfolio accounts for 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and has put the Philippines on the map as the world’s third largest geothermal power producer. (PR)


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