May 18, 2024

The Benguet General Hospital plans to open the recently inaugurated molecular laboratory by October after the procurement of equipment to make it fully operational.
The laboratory and its marker were unveiled and blessed last Sept. 12 by officials of the Department of Health, BeGH, provincial government led by Gov. Melchor Diclas, La Trinidad Mayor Romeo Salda, and Benguet caretaker Eric Yap but the laboratory could not operate yet pending purchase of various equipment.
DOH-Cordillera Director Ruby Constantino said the laboratory will help in boosting the Covid-19 testing capability of the region. At present, only Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center has been certified by the DOH as sub-national testing laboratory for Covid-19.
BeGH Chief Dr. Meliarazon Dulay said the personnel who will be deployed in the molecular laboratory were trained at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine and at BGHMC.
Yap earlier donated a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and automated extraction machines to BeGH but is now temporarily being used by the BGHMC pending the construction of the provincial hospital’s testing lab.
Acknowledging the importance of the machine in boosting the testing capabilities of BGHMC, he said he will no longer be getting back the set of equipment but will be procuring new sets of equipment for the use of BeGH.
“Kung makakatulong naman sa Baguio, bibili na lang ako ng bago at idodonate ko na lang sa Baguio iyon. Kasi alam naman natin madami umaasa doon, buong Region 1, North Luzon ay doon talaga pinapasa, so bibili na lang tayo ng bagong extractor para dito sa molecular lab (ng BeGH),” Yap said. 
Yap has funded the construction of the laboratory building using his personal funds.
Yap clarified that the building will not be named after him. He said the “Eric Go Yap Building” printed on the banner during the laboratory’s blessing was only for officials of BeGH to show their gratitude.
“Dinonate ko pero hindi ko alam na ganoon po ang ginawa ng taga-Benguet Gen, out of gratitude.”
Yap said he asked the head of the BeGH to remove his name and inscribe instead a name bearing “Benguet.”
He said the molecular laboratory will also help Benguet in preparation for its eventual opening to tourists. – Ofelia C. Empian