Bohol is acquiring not just a machine or equipment but an entire laboratory and a “solution” to COVID-19.
This was clarified by ENDEC, Inc. Chief Executive Officer William Michael Johnson in a briefing to the provincial officials led by Gov. Arthur Yap and mayors on Friday.
The ENDEC is the supplier of the province’s first containerized RT-PCR laboratory, which is separate from the molecular laboratory for COVID-19 testing at the Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH).
Some rabid partisan critics insinuated that government officials must be making money out of the essential laboratory purchase.
They misled the public by their false claim that the facility would have only costed not less than P2 million.
Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s Davao City and Zamboanga City had earlier bought the same containerized COVID-19 testing facilities from ENDEC at around P20 million each.
Johnson clarified that Bohol is not just buying an RT-PCR machine.
It is the entire program that the province will be paying for, including the set-up of the laboratory, all equipment, training of the laboratorians, protocol, all paper works for the laboratory to operate, and preventive maintenance for one year, he said during the briefing.
Bohol’s containerized RT-PCR laboratory is installed inside the Bohol Medical Center Institute (BMCI) in Tagbilaran City.
Those in Davao City and Zamboanga City now form parts of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) and Ciudad Medical Zamboanga (CMZ), respectively.
Johnson emphasized, “We are not selling you a product. We are providing you a solution. When we deliver the laboratory, we don’t just drop a machine. We help you from installation of the laboratory to commissioning, and to training your people.”
CMZ Pres. Jhihann Hairun Natividad said the laboratory meets the requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine ((RITM) for a Biosafety Level 2 facility.
Bohol COVID-19 Technical Working Group spokesperson Dr. Cesar Tomas Lopez said the province’s containerized RT-PCR laboratory already passed the two rounds of equipment inspection.
Johnson came to Bohol along with Global Medical Technologist (GMT) CEO Mich Genato, SciLore Chief Science Officer Anna Giselle Gibson, and GMT Medical Director Ronnel Matibag.
They made the clarification in response to the queries of Gov. Yap, Provincial Administrator Kathyrin Fe Pioquinto and the mayors.
The mayors in the briefing included Juliet Dano (Sevilla), Manuel Jayectin (Bilar), Nila Montero (Panglao), Jec-jec Ellorimo (Sikatuna), Costan Reyes (Ubay), Virgilio Mendez (San Miguel), William Jao (Tubigon), Jose Cepedoza (Danao), Dave Duallo (Buenavista), Hilario Tocmo (Corella), Randolph Ang (Dimiao), Benecio Uy (Baclayon), Elvi Relampagos (Loon), Leon Calipusan (Loboc), Nita Cubrado (Pilar), Romulo Manuta (Maribojoc), Lilioso Nunag (Antequera), Janet Garcia (Talibon), and Rene Borenaga (Bien Unido). Carmen was represented by Municipal Administrator Eliezer Cagol.
Also present were Provincial Board Members Ricky Masamayor and Aldner Damalerio, Niel Oclarit of the Department of Health (DOH), and DILG Provincial Director Jerome Gonzales.
CRITICS SAY IT’S A
WASTE OF MONEY
Familiar harsh critics spread intrigue that buying the vital infectious disease testing facility is a waste of people’s taxes because public officials would only steal the money.
In Cebu, the government of Mandaue City bought a facility worth millions not to save the living but store dead bodies of coronavirus victims while awaiting cremation—-a murtuary freezer van that can store 40 human corpses.
There is fear that COVID-19 may remain in this lifetime.
With timely intervention and upgraded management of cases, far many have recovered from the killer COVID.
But it has been observed that some politically-motivated critics to the provincial administration have yet not from their election failure long after the 2016 polls.
The containerized laboratory will likely operate starting next month, complementing the one at the GCGMH which can run earlier.
Many have considered the two laboratories another breakthrough response of Bohol under Yap to COVID-19.
The molecular laboratory at the GCGMH is not containerized and right inside a building of the hospital, which is supervised by the Department of Health (DOH).
GCGMH chief Dr. Mutya Kismet Tirol-Macuno said it is the only of its kind with negative pressure in the region.
Former governor and now First District Rep. Edgar Chatto also assisted the life-essential project. (Ven rebo Arigo)