By James A. Loyola
The Ayala Group, led by its healthcare unit Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (AC Health), will build 4 BSL-2 laboratories and help capacitate 3 existing laboratories in Makati, Cebu, and Davao.
In a statement, Ayala said these will translate to an additional capacity of 5,500 confirmatory RT-PCR tests per day for the country.
This i s par t of the group’s contribution to the Department of Health and the Inter-Agency Task Force’s Project T3 (Test, Trace, Treat), that aims to expand the national confirmatory testing capacity to 50,000 tests per day by June.
“At the Ayala Group, we are big believers in testing and are one with the government in their efforts to expand our country’s capacity,” Ayala Corporation President and COO Fernando Zobel de Ayala said.
He added that, “By constructing new laboratories and expanding capacity for existing ones, we will increase access to confirmatory RT-PCR testing for COVID-19 in many critical areas.”
AC Health partnered with the Qualimed Health Network to build 4 modular-type BSL-2 laboratories that will be located in their hospitals at Sta. Rosa, Laguna, Tanauan, Batangas, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, and Iloilo City, Iloilo.
This innovative and ef¬ficient modular setup, designed and built by Makati Development Corporation (MDC), will accelerate construction timelines for other laboratories.
The modular BSL-2 laboratories, which follow the recommended design by the DOH, RITM, and WHO, are equipped with fully-automated RNA extraction and RT-PCR systems and can process about 1,000 confirmatory RT-PCR tests per day. The laboratory will be supervised by 2 Board-certified pathologists with training in molecular diagnostics.
In the Visayas region, AC Health has set out to partner with the University of Cebu Medical Center in Mandaue City, one of the leading private hospitals in Cebu, to expand their capacity by 250 tests per day.
In the Mindanao region, AC Health and the Ayala Foundation will donate RT-PCR machines to the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City to increase their capacity by 1,000 confirmatory RT-PCR tests daily.
Apart from the Ayala Group, this network of laboratories has been made possible through the generous donation of a consortium of private sector companies.
“Increasing the country’s confirmatory testing capacity is not an easy feat, but AC Health, together with all of our partners, remain committed to fill these gaps in our healthcare system. I would like to thank all of our partners in both the public and private sector who continue to work towards the same goal of fighting COVID-19 by improving the testing capabilities of the entire country,” AC Health President and CEO Paolo Borromeo added.