MANILA – The San Miguel Corp. (SMC) has begun turning over its donation of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) testing booths, starting with the cities of Mandaluyong, Pasig, and Manila, fulfilling an earlier promise to help boost the testing capacities of all 17 Metro Manila local government units (LGUs).
A total of 24 testing booths were turned over to Mandaluyong Mayor Carmelita Abalos, Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto, and Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.
The delivery of testing booths for other LGUs -- Quezon City, Caloocan, Malabon, Las Piñas, Parañaque, Muntinlupa, Makati, Navotas, San Juan, Taguig, Marikina, Valenzuela, Pasay, and Pateros – will continue this coming week.
Apart from the testing booths, the SMC is also donating PHP3 million worth of reverse transcription - polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests to each of the 17 LGUs, equivalent to 34,000 tests.
The company is also set to turn over an additional three sets of RT-PCR testing machines and automated RNA machines to key government hospitals.
“We are fully committed to helping all our Metro Manila LGUs increase their Covid-19 testing capabilities, in support of the national government’s expanded testing goals,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said in a news release on Friday.
Ang said with the donations, they hope to help boost testing, particularly in “our less-fortunate communities where many underprivileged families are extra vulnerable, due to their living conditions.”
He noted the importance of carrying out expanded testing and making it accessible to more people by offering it to poor families for free.
“We need to be able to find a way to make testing accessible to all. Everyone should have equal access, not just those who have the means,” Ang said.
At the same time, he batted for the regulation of the price of testing to make it affordable to regular Filipinos and small companies that have to test their employees before returning to work.
Along this line, the SMC is working with the local government of its home city of Mandaluyong to ensure that the cost to test in the city remains affordable.
Apart from its donations to the LGUs, SMC had earlier donated five sets of the same testing machines to the Department of Health (DOH) and testing kits, which can administer up to 20,000 tests.
According to the DOH, the donation effectively doubled the country’s testing capacity. (SMC PR)
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