ORMOC CITY- This city will now have its own molecular testing laboratory after said facility, located at the Ormoc Sugarcane Planters Association – Farmers’ Medical Center (OSPA-FMC) grounds was inaugurated on Tuesday(Oct.20).
The new laboratory, the region’s third of such facility, is a result of collaborative efforts between the city government of Ormoc, the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and the OSPA-FMC, a non-stock, non-profit and the city’s oldest private hospital.
Mayor Richard Gomez, during the inauguration, said the city’s dream of establishing a molecular testing laboratory has come to a realization through the help of EDC, the country’s geothermal leader, which donated high-end molecular testing equipment to the city government worth roughly P27 million.
OSPA-FMC offered a building for the laboratory and takes charge of the operations and maintenance.
The signing of landmark agreement was made on July by Mayor Gomez and Vice Mayor Leo Carmelo Locsin, OSPA-FMC vice president Roy Bernard Fiel and EDC management represented by its president and chief operating officer Richard Tantoco witnessed by Deputy Chief Implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Disease against COVID-19 Secretary Vivencio Dizon.
Philippine Associated Smelting and Refining Corp. (PASAR), an industrial company based in Isabel, Leyte provided testing kits for the use of the said laboratory.
The facility is still subject for the Department of Health accreditation, said OSPA Medical Director Dr. Sandra Fiel Chiong.
Mayor Gomez recalled that when the pandemic started, the local government dreamed of putting up a molecular laboratory to fast track results for the Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test detecting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections and eventually stop its spread.
Once the region’s third molecular laboratory becomes operational, bulk of COVID-19 swab samples for the existing two molecular centers at the region are reduced and processing of results become faster. It is also expected to serve the nearby towns as far as Maasin City, the province’s southern part, Gomez said.
It was learned that the center could process 600 swab samples a day with a maximum capacity of 1,200 swab samples.
Currently, the city has 131 COVID-19 cases.
Tantoco, in his virtual message during the inauguration reiterated its commitment to uplift the lives of the people from its partner communities including the city and help them get through this pandemic.
“We are privileged to have a significant role in establishing the city’s first molecular testing facility. It is our way of showing our unwavering commitment to help the people of Ormoc thrive amid this health and economic crisis and our solid support to the leadership of Mayor Richard Gomez whom we consider as one of our regenerative partners”, he Tantoco said.
EDC owns and operates the 714-megawatt Leyte geothermal facility, the company’s biggest site that straddles between Ormoc City and the Municipality of Kananga and utilizes the largest known geothermal wet steam field world.