February 1, 2023

Benguet legislative caretaker, Rep. Eric Go Yap of ACT-CIS party-list, is not infected with the coronavirus disease-2019 (Covid-19) as earlier announced.
The Department of Health – Research Institute for Tropical Medicine issued a statement on March 27 stating Yap remains negative for the Covid-19.
“We wish to publicly apologize to Hon. Eric Go Yap of ACT-CIS Partylist for forwarding a report of his Covid-19 results that displayed a clerical oversight,” the RITM said in a statement on Friday night.
The agency stated Yap’s result is not false positive but merely an isolated case of an encoding error, which was discovered on March 26 by the Molecular Biology Laboratory of the DOH-RITM.
“We maintain that our testing process is compliant with the World Health Organization protocol, and that our results remain accurate despite this incident,” it added.
RITM said the polymerase chain reaction testing procedure “still stands as the gold standard in detecting the genetic sequence of the SARS-CoV-2,” which is the virus that causes the Covid-19.  
“Again, we profusely and sincerely apologize to Hon. Eric Go Yap for the unnecessary discomfort this incident has caused,” it added.
The health research facility said the individual responsible for the incident was enlisted as an augmentation staff from outside the regular workforce of the laboratory. It said the employee was already dealt with administratively.
“For the assurance of the public, we have reviewed all results we have previously forwarded and we affirm that this incident remains isolated. We have also added another layer of verification for all succeeding reports we will submit,” it read.
“We promise that this, and other associated incidents, will never happen again,” RITM stated.
Yap said he accepted the agency’s apology.
“Inaamin ko, the past 48 hours has been very hard for me and to everyone around me. Hindi naging madali ito pero buong puso kong tinatanggap ang apology ng DOH-RITM,” Yap said.
He said RITM Director Celia Carlos called him to explain what happened and that he understood her explanation, as he stated “they are the busiest medical facility in the country right now.”
“It’s not an excuse pero normal na nagkakaroon ng pagkakamali sa dami at sa pressure na tinatanggap ng RITM ngayon,” he said. 
“This is not a cause for celebration for me dahil ilang milyong kababayan pa din natin ang kasalukuyang apektado ng krisis na ito. I will not harbor hard feelings towards anybody and I urge everybody to stay home and keep safe from this virus,” he said.
He urged everyone to not keep their guards down against the Covid-19. – Ofelia C. Empian