Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio and her brother Vice Mayor Sebastian Duterte (right, partly hidden) | (photo from Davao City Information Office)

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio announced that the city government is assisting the Davao Doctors Hospital, a city government-run laboratory.and another unnamed medical facility in the city to get accredited by the Department of Health (DOH) as testing centers for “diagnosis and identification” of suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients.

“We are waiting for papers atong isa ka private nga laboratory nga willing mag set-up diri sa Davao City ug COVID-19 testing facility and ginatabangan nato sila nga i-push ang ilahang papers (We are waiting for the papers of one private laboratory willing to set up a Covid-19 testing facility in Davao City and we are helping them),” the mayor said.

Currently only the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) is recognized by the by the National Reference Laboratory as a satellite laboratory in the Philippines and the only one for Mindanao to conduct COVID-19 testing.  It is one of the 17 COVID19 testing centers recognized nationwide. SPMC can only conduct 80 samples per day.

The presidential daughter also said the city will replicate the model of its sister-city Marikina for the establishment of the Covid-19 laboratory.

“Atoang gigamit na model is ang Marikina laboratory. We reached out to Marikina and they are helping us, guiding us paunsa nato ma set-up ang government unit COVID-19 testing laboratory (We will use the Marikina laboratory as our model. We have reached out to Marikina and they are helping us, guiding us how to set up the Covid-19 laboratory,” she said.

The Marikina Covid-19 test center has been completed and it is in the final stage of getting certification as testing center from the Department of Health (DoH).

Duterte-Carpio also revealed that the funds the city received from the  Bayanihan grant of the national government will be used for the city government-run laboratory for COVID-19.

“We have money from the Bayanihan grant which will be submitted to SP next week. “Nag allot ta didto og (We allotted there for COVID-19 testing facility laboratory for Davao City,” she added.  (Rommel F. Lopez)