In line with its efforts to help curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the Philippine Red Cross on Wednesday inaugurated its molecular laboratory in Batangas City which has been certified as an accredited COVID-19 testing center by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City.
With the opening of its bio-molecular laboratory in Batangas, PRC said that it has now a total testing capacity of 32,000 tests a day.
PRC chairman and chief executive officer Sen. Richard Gordon explained that the facility – equipped with four RT-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) machines that can run a combined total of 4,000 tests a day – has the biggest testing capability in Region 4-A or the Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon area and can cover other nearby provinces.
“We are glad to have this laboratory up and running because more people should get tested,” Gordon said in a statement. “Testing is the key to get our economy going again and this is more so, here in Batagas and in the whole region, with its different economic zones, techno-parks, industrial zones, and others,” he added.
Thru testing, Gordon said that carriers of the virus can be separated from those who are not and thus stop further transmission. Equally important, he added, is that testing will also enable people to get back to their jobs.
“Kapag na-test na ang mga tao, makakapagbukas na ulit ang mga pabrika at iba pa dito, dahil makakapasok na ang mga empleyado nila (Once people are tested, factories and others can reopen here and they can ask their employees to go back to work),” Gordon said.
“Kaya natutuwa ako dahil puwede nang magsimula ng operations dito sa Batangas kasi marami tayong mga pabrika dito, pati sa Laguna na malapit lang din dito at iba pang lugar (I’m glad that we can start operations here in Batangas because we have so many factories here, also in Laguna which is also close here and other areas nearby),” he added.
Gordon noted that at present, there are many people who do not have money because they do not have jobs and the government is forced to provide financial subsidies to them. “Pero hindi puwedeng habambuhay bibigyan ng gobyerno ng pera. Kaya dapat makapagtrabaho na ulit. Ang sinasabi ko, para makapagtrabaho na, dapat kayo ay magpa-test ,” he ended.
The PRC has also opened molecular laboratories in its former national headquarters in Port Area, Manila, which can run 14,000 tests; Subic and Clark, 6,000 tests, and two at its headquarters in Mandaluyong, which can finish 8,000 tests a day.