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Metrobank and Manila Healthtek Ink Partnership To Distribute UP-Developed COVID-19 PCR Kits

Anjie lou delos Reyes
Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings, through Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) and GT Foundation, Inc. (GTFI), donated PhP 5.6 million to Manila HealthTek, Inc., a private research and development company, for the distribution of UP-developed COVID-19 Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (rRT-PCR) detection kits. A total of 3,800 kits will be donated to the UP National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH), Maria Reyna-Xavier University Hospital in Cagayan de Oro City, and Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center (ITRMC) in San Fernando City, La Union.

Metrobank and Manila Healthtek Ink Partnership To Distribute UP-Developed COVID-19 PCR Kits
Metrobank and Manila Healthtek Ink Partnership To Distribute UP-Developed COVID-19 PCR Kits

A virtual ceremonial signing of the Deed of Donation with Manila HealthTek, Inc. and beneficiary institutions was held on July 9 through the presence of HealthTek CEO Dr. Raul Destura, UP-NIH executive director and 2019 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Dr. Eva Maria Cutiongco-de La Paz, Xavier University President Fr. Roberto Yap, Maria Reyna-Xavier University Hospital OIC Director Sr. Evelyn Aguilar, and ITRMC Molecular Biology Laboratory section head Dr. Jimmy Rosales. It was Dr. Destura who led the team from UP-NIH and the Philippine Genome Center in the development of these low-cost kits.

“We have been working hard in supporting various initiatives to address and combat the effects of the pandemic since the start of the lockdown. Given the need for a gold standard in testing, we are privileged to support the very first Philippine developed testing kits for COVID19,” said MBFI president Aniceto Sobrepena. “We commend and admire the works of our local experts led by Dr. Destura and his team, together with the UP-NIH in the development, testing, and production of these kits,” he added.

The donation is part of over a PhP220 million contribution by Metrobank and GT Capital Holdings Group to fund and support efforts to combat the pandemic and help those in need. The amount was allocated for the purchase of personal protective equipment (PPEs) to benefit healthcare and security frontliners; “Project Ugnayan” led by the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation; distribution of meals and food packs to underprivileged families; construction and equipping of molecular laboratories for the testing of cases in partnership with the Department of Health, Philippine Red Cross, and Ayala Group; and Go Negosyo’s Project ARK (Antibody Rapid test Kits) of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship Foundation. Just recently, Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation donated 30 units of Toyota Vios to DOH for the mobility of healthcare frontliners and local government hospitals.

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