January 29, 2023

To aid Benguet in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, the Congressional Office led by Rep. Eric Go Yap of ACT-CIS party-list has donated a polymerase chain reaction machine and an automated extraction machine to jumpstart the province’s testing capacity against the virus.

But the machines were temporarily transferred to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, where it will be used until such time that Benguet General Hospital and the provincial government have established the Covid-19 testing center.

Gov. Melchor Diclas said the laboratory is expected to be completed this year.

Yap has turned over the PCR and automated DNA extraction machines, which are used for testing Covid-19 suspected cases, to BeGH on May 21.

Yap said he wants BeGH to be capacitated with PCR and DNA extraction machines to help BGHMC in its testing capacity. Swab samples taken from patients from other Cordillera provinces and regions 1 and 2 are brought to BGHMC for confirmatory results.

“Dagdagan natin ang kakayahan nating makapag-test at pabilisin natin ang paglabas ng resulta. Kaya ‘nung nagtanong tayo kung may paraan para mas madami ang test na magawa, makakatulong daw ang pagkakaroon ng automated extractor,” Yap said.

He said while the machines are donated to BeGH, in the absence of an adequate facility in the hospital, a memorandum of agreement will be executed with the BGHMC, which is the only Covid-19 testing center in Northern Luzon.

Yap said BGHMC will conduct testing using the machines but will allocate a certain number of tests per day for Benguet residents until such time that BeGH is ready with its testing facility.

“We cannot flatten the curve without mass testing and I hope these machines will bring us one step closer to a Covid-free community,” he said.

Yap, who is also the chair of the House committee on appropriations, vowed to further help in the government’s drive against the Covid-19.

“Malaking tulong man ang mga naipamahagi nating relief goods, PPEs, gamot, vitamins, at iba pa, naniniwala akong hindi natin matutumbok ang problema kung kulang ang ating kakayahan pagdating sa aggressive na mass testing,” he added. – Ofelia C. Empian