City to provide CLMMRH P20 million to build biolab for COVID testing

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BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The City of Bacolod will provide the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH) with ₱20 million to build a biolab in Bacolod City for COVID-testing. This facility will cater to patients from Bacolod and from the province of Negros Occidental, according to Mayor Evelio Leonardia.

Screencap from Bacolod City PIO.
Screencap from Bacolod City PIO.

A press release published in the Bacolod City PIO page said this is the city’s initiative to partner with Dr. Julius Drilon, Chief of Hospital of CLMMRH, who was also urging the biolab project.

Leonardia “felt he could no longer wait for the response of DOH-Manila to his previous appeal that DOH also build a biolab in Bacolod City just like what it did in the cities of Iloilo and Cebu”, the news release said.

Leonardia, the press release added, “is confident that Dr. Drilon will take care of complying with all DOH and RITM protocols on the project as well as installing this biolab at the CLMMRH within the next 45-60 days”.

The decision was also made after Leonardia learned yesterday through Dr. Stephanie Abello, Chief Pathologist of the DOH biolab at the Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City, that the facility is able to process only about 100 specimens during a 12-hour shift.

Dr. Julius Drilon, Chief of Hospital of CLMMRH. | Photo from Bacolod city PIO
Dr. Julius Drilon, Chief of Hospital of CLMMRH. | Photo from Bacolod city PIO

Even if that is doubled, the Iloilo biolab can, therefore, handle only about 200 specimens in a day.

“If that Iloilo biolab is to serve the entire Western Visayas or Region 6, then that capacity is sorely inadequate”, said Leonardia.

Thus, he decided to immediately provide city funds to CLMMRH to help build another biolab in Bacolod City to increase the testing capacity for Region 6. He expects other LGUs in the province and private donors to help purchase whatever test kits will be validated by the DOH-RITM as compatible with this biolab at the CLMMRH.

In the meantime, until this Bacolod biolab is up and running, Bacolod will continue to get its supply of swab test kits for specimen-collection from DOH-Region 6, for processing at the biolab in Iloilo, which is the current protocol.

The ₱5 million of city funds previously set aside for test kits will be used soon to purchase the test kits that are compatible with the machines in the Iloilo biolab in the meantime and, eventually, for the Bacolod biolab.*/CITY PIO

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