Malacañang on Monday said the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) would have increased funding in 2022 to improve the country’s surveillance of Covid-19 variants.

Health experts have been saying that the country had been late and slow in detecting Covid-19 variants due to an incapable genome sequencing capacity.

“We rely on the Genomic Center para ma-trace natin kung ano na iyong variant na laganap sa ating bayan, at importante po iyan para alam natin kung gaanong papaigtingin pa natin iyong ating depensa,” Roque said.

“[T]hey requested additional funds. And if I’m not mistaken ay pagbibigyan naman po iyan,” he added.

As of Aug. 15, the Philippines has recorded 807 cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant.

It has also recorded its first case of the Lambda variant, a variant of interest that has been reportedly more vaccine resistant.

“Importante talaga iyong ating surveillance and that has been recognized as a priority of the (Department of Health)—to improve our surveillance capacity,” Roque said. John Ezekiel J. Hirro