Davao de Oro opens COVID laboratory

Published March 5, 2021, 4:20 PM

by Zea Capistrano

DAVAO CITY – The provincial government of Davao de Oro inaugurated Friday its COVID-19 (SARS COV-2) testing laboratory at the Davao de Oro Provincial Hospital-Montevista (DdOPH).

The laboratory is capable of testing COVID-19 using the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction method. The license to operate was received by the province last Feb. 26 and is valid from Feb. 24 to Dec. 31.

During her speech at the inauguration, Dr. Grace Amistoso, Department of Health (DOH) XI Licensing Officer V, said the new laboratory will not only serve Davao de Oro province but the neighboring areas as well.

The release of the license and the inauguration of the biomolecular laboratory came over eight months since the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for its establishment last June 22 by the provincial government with the DOST-XI and University of the Philippines Mindanao to set up the testing facility.

“Minsan walang testing hindi dahil maraming specimen pero kasi nagkukulang ng reagents, walang ibang mapagpapadalhan (Sometimes there is no testing, not because of so many specimens but because there is a lack of reagents and there are no other laboratories where you could send it to),” she said. “So with the presence of your laboratory right now you will not only be serving Davao de Oro but the neighboring (areas),” she said.

Davao de Oro Gov. Tyron Uy said they trained their personnel “in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-XI) and the Philippine Genome Center in the University of the Philippines-Mindanao).” The construction of the testing facility was funded by the national government’s Bayanihan grant. Uy said the testing laboratory will boost the testing efforts of the provinces.

“The budget for this project is from our share sa Bayanihan Grant to the Provinces. Gigamit nato to invest in our healthcare system, to help in our testing efforts because we cannot take chances until wala’y bakuna (We used it to invest in our healthcare system, to help in our testing efforts because we cannot take chances until there is no vaccine),” Uy added.