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Davao Covid-19 testing gets boost from Aboitiz

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF ABOITIZ DAVAO City Mayor Sara Duterte (center) receives the RNA extraction machine from Aboitiz Group’s chief commercial and stakeholder engagement officer Danel Aboitiz. The turnover was witnessed by Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

The Aboitiz Group, through the Aboitiz Foundation, continued to contribute to the country’s Covid-19 response efforts when it turned over a new RNA (ribonucleic acid) extraction machine to Davao City.

RNA extraction is a key pre-analytical step before Covid-19 test samples are processed by an RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) machine.

With the donation, Davao now has three RNA machines, one situated at Davao City International Airport and the other two in the city’s Los Amigos Molecular Laboratory.

The additional RNA machine is expected to help increase the city’s testing capacity and yield faster testing turnaround time.

“On behalf of the city government of Davao, I would like to thank the Aboitiz Foundation for donating this RNA extraction machine, the latest in the long list of donations and assistance we have received from the Aboitiz Group over the past few years,” Mayor Sara Duterte said during the machine’s turnover on 19 February.

The mayor also thanked the Department of Tourism (DoT) for facilitating the donation.

Aboitiz Group’s chief commercial and stakeholder engagement officer Danel Aboitiz assured the mayor and the Davao local government unit (LGU) they will continuously support its Covid-19 response initiatives.

“As an LGU, you have shown great leadership in managing this public health crisis — from testing and contact tracing to, most recently, unveiling your vaccination program.

This inspires us in the private sector to do more to support our host communities. We hope this RNA extraction machine brings positive impact to all Davaoeños and Davao City towards reversing the trend of new cases,” he said.

DoT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat also expressed her gratitude, highlighting the public-private partnership between the Aboitiz Group and the government.

“To triumph over the Covid-19 pandemic, we need a strong multi-sectoral approach. This is being demonstrated here today as entities from the national and local government have worked hand-in-hand with the private sector, notably the Aboitiz Foundation, to donate an RNA extraction machine to the City of Davao,” she said.

Aboitiz underscored the importance of working with the government in ensuring people’s safety and security as tourism activities and the economy gradually open.

“We are likewise honored to be working with Secretary Berna and the DoT in bringing focus to our individual responsibilities to follow all the necessary health protocols as economic activity slowly resumes. One clear takeaway from Covid-19 is the crucial role of public-private partnerships in inclusive recovery, however long it may take,” Aboitiz added.

The Aboitiz Group is present in Davao City through the country’s third-largest private power distribution utility, Davao Light & Power Co. Inc. and Apo Agua Infrastructura Inc., which is helping build the Davao City Bulk Water Supply Project.

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