To strengthen the capital city’s mass testing efforts, Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso has opened the Sta. Ana Hospital’s second swab testing laboratory capable of processing 1,000 tests a day.
Market vendors will be among those to be prioritized for mass swab testing which will soon be carried out by the Manila City government, Domagoso said Tuesday.
With a capability of 1,000 swab tests a day, the Sta. Ana Hospital will be able to process about 30,000 tests a month for the City of Manila.
Officials of the Ayala Group of Companies joined Domagoso during the inauguration of the Sta. Ana Hospital’s RT-PCR Molecular Laboratory to manifest their support for the Manila City government’s efforts against the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ayala Group of Companies has contributed P8.5 million for the construction of the molecular laboratory in support of the Manila City government’s mass testing efforts.
“We were trying to ask for a discount for the construction of the Sta. Ana Hospital. When City Engineer Armand Andres reported back to me, he said the Ayala family will provide a discount—about 100 percent,” Domagoso said as he thanked the Ayala Group for the donation.
“[The City of Manila was able] to achieve flying colors because our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers focused on the infected. We invested in our facilities, doctors, all available sciences, available medicines allowed by the national government through the Department of Health and Food and Drug Administration,” Domagoso said.
While Domagoso acknowledged that treating a COVID-19 patient was expensive, he said the Manila City government continued to “shoulder all of the costs” because his constituents “deserve better things from the government.”
“If it’s expensive, pera naman ng taumbayan yan. They deserve better things from the government. Your city government, in our own little way, will not stop serving our fellow Manileños,” the Mayor said.
Fernando Zobel de Ayala, chief operating officer of the Ayala Corporation, believes that supporting the local government’s efforts to test, trace and treat COVID-19 patients is critical to battling the pandemic.
“We support the national government’s efforts to update our testing, tracing and treatment capabilities. While we’re doing what we can to help at the national level, we also believe that supporting local governments is critical,” Ayala said.
Ayala said their group of companies had always “felt a strong connection in the City of Manila, given the fact that our company started here back in 1834.”
“With several of our investments in transportation, infrastructure, financial services and healthcare taking place in this city during our company’s early history, we’re always grateful for any opportunity to work with all of you,” Ayala said.
Ayala also said while their “friendship with the City of Manila has been strong throughout the years, the Ayala Group is very excited to make it stronger under Mayor Isko’s leadership.”
“Health has now become everyone’s priority given the continuing challenges brought about by COVID-19. It is our firm belief that responding to the crisis requires a holistic approach with the private sector and government working together,” he added.
Manila City Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan emphasized the importance of the Ayala Group’s “generous donation” in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, saying it would increase the capability of the Sta. Ana Hospital to test as many patients as possible.
“Thank you very much, Ayala Foundation, for simply thinking of others and for serving your duty to act in the best interest of the society. We remain steadfast in bringing the best possible solutions to end this most daunting problem in our time,” Lacuna-Pangan said.