Just in time for its celebration of its 42nd founding anniversary, the Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBF), in partnership with Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU), turned over an PhP18 million-worth molecular laboratory to the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) on Jan. 9 in Bajada, Davao City.
The facility shall address the growing need for COVID 19 testing, specifically in this region, which can run 200 samples each day.
The virtual ceremony was attended by MBFI trustee Alfred Ty, MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepeña, Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega, Davao City Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte, Davao City Health Office Assistant Head Dr. Marjorie Colas (to represent Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio), SPMC OIC Medical Center Chief Dr. Ricardo Audan, SPMC Chief Administrative Officer Atty. Oscar Mata, AdDU President Fr. Joel Tabora, SJ; and AdDU Executive Vice President Jeremy Eliab. An actual turnover and blessing ceremony was held onsite.
“Today’s occasion marks another milestone in our response to contribute to our country’s continuing efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Our appreciation to our institutional partners for their unwavering commitment to make this project a reality from the time we formally signed the MOA last year,” expressed Ty in his message.
“The inauguration of this molecular laboratory is a manifestation of our commitment to continuously serve as an institution that readily responds to the needs of society during catastrophic events and health crises such as this ongoing pandemic,” he added.
Situated at SPMC’s compound, the facility’s testing capacity will have a turn-around time of three operating days from Monday to Saturday. It was established following all applicable laws, including the standards of the DOH, Food and Drug Administration, and other applicable regulatory agencies and accredited by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
To date, MBFI has supported the construction and equipping of 10 molecular laboratories in the country amounting to a total of PhP61 million. These include the largest molecular laboratory capable of detecting COVID-19 and other contagious diseases at the former Philippine Red Cross Headquarters in Port Area Manila.
MBFI also supported the “Test, Trace, and Treat” Network through the Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc., the healthcare arm of the Ayala Group, in building seven Biosafety Level 2 modular laboratories in Qualimed hospitals.
Another molecular laboratory was inaugurated at the Manila Doctors Hospital through a donation from GT Foundation—the Ty family foundation.
The donation is part of the consolidated PhP308 million contribution of Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings to fund and support efforts to combat the pandemic and help those in need.
The financial assistance has covered the following: purchase of personal protective equipment for healthcare and security frontliners; donation of RT-PCR testing kits to select government hospitals; donation of antibody rapid test kits through GoNegosyo’s Project ARK; support for “Project Ugnayan” led by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation; distribution of meals and food packs to underprivileged families; financial assistance to different stakeholders through amelioration programs; provision of equipment to learners and schools; construction of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene facilities in schools; donation of Toyota Vios to DOH, among others.