The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is set to inaugurate on Thursday, Oct. 21, the Biosafety Level 2+ Laboratory as an initial facility for the Virology and Vaccine Institute of the Philippines (VIP).
“Tomorrow is the opening of Biosafety Level 2+ lab at ITDI (Industrial Technology Development Institute) as initial facility of the Virology and Vaccine Institute,” DOST Secretary Fortunato “Boy” T. de la Peña told the Manila Bulletin in a Viber message.
The BSL-2+ Laboratory is established in the Environment and Biotechnology Division of the DOST-ITDI.
“A BSL-2+ Laboratory works on microorganisms that pose moderate hazards to laboratory staff and the environment. The biological material used in a BSL-2 laboratory consists of bacteria, viruses, and organisms associated with human diseases,” the DOST said.
The total project cost of the new laboratory is P5,097,306.85.
The DOST said the laboratory “will be adhering to the appropriate biosafety and biosecurity protocols as mandated by international standards.”
“With this new BSL-2 laboratory, the initial projects of the VIP program will be implemented safely and securely.”
The Biosafety Level 2+ Laboratory is among the 21 technologies and innovative research and development (R&D) projects dubbed as “Big 21 in 2021” launched in September.
The VIP will serve as the country’s premier research and development institute in the field of virology, encompassing all areas in viruses and viral diseases in humans, plants, and animals. It will also be tasked to conduct product research for diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines.
The DOST said late May that the VIP may rise at the New Clark Economic Zone in Capas, Tarlac by the end of 2023 or in 2024.