The Philippine Genome Center (PGC) said it needs at least P100 million to expand its genome sequencing capacity in Visayas and Mindanao.
“Itong ating prinopose ngayon ay para magkaroon ng [genomic] sequencing sa ating ibang regions (What we are currently proposing is in order to have (genomic) sequencing in our other regions),” said PGC Director Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco-Dela Paz in an interview over ABS-CBN Teleradyo.
At present, the PGC is doing the genomic sequencing of specimens of selected COVID-19 patients at its laboratory in Manila, said Cutiongco-Dela Paz.
“Sa pamamagitan ng pagkapacitate natin ng ating PGC Visayas at Mindanao, matutulungan na sa regions doon na mangyari yung sequencing (By capacitating our PGC Visayas and Mindanao, we can help the regions to do the sequencing there),” she said.
Cutiongco-Dela Paz said that the funds would be used to purchase the needed equipment such as reagents and kits and the hiring of additional manpower.
“Marami pong components ang budget hindi lang naman equipment. Malaking parte ay yung supplies—–reagents na lahat ay kinukuha pa natin sa ibang bansa. Ikalawa, kailangan natin ng mga well-trained manpower para mapatakbo iyang sequencing (The proposed budget has many components, not just the equipment. A big part is the supplies, such as reagents that we are procuring from other countries. Second, we need well-trained manpower to run the sequencing),” she said.
“Yung sequencing maraming datos na lumalabas dyan, so very important din yung ating highly-skilled bioinformaticians. Sila po yung nag-aanalyze ng sequences para malaman natin kung anong variant ang nakita sa isang sample (There’s a lot of data when it comes to sequencing, so highly-skilled bioinformaticians are also very important. They are the ones who analyze the sequences so we can know what variant is seen in a specific sample),” she added.