Aboitiz medical equipment donation expands, speeds up Davao COVID-19 testing

The Aboitiz Group, through the Aboitiz Foundation, continues to contribute to the country’s COVID-19 response efforts by turning over a brand new RNA (Ribonucleic Acid) Extraction machine to the Davao City local government unit (LGU), boosting the city’s overall testing efforts.

Witnessed by Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat (left), Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio (middle) receives the RNA Extraction Machine from the Aboitiz Group represented by its Chief Commercial and Stakeholder Engagement Officer  Danel Aboitiz (right)

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 City will now have three RNA machines: one in Davao City International Airport and 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 to the City Government of Davao – the latest in the long list of donations and assistance we have received from the Aboitiz Group over the past few years. We would also like to thank the Department of Tourism for facilitating this donation,” said Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio during the machine’s turnover last February 19.

Aboitiz Group’s Chief Commercial and Stakeholder Engagement Officer Danel Aboitiz assured Mayor Duterte-Carpio and the Davao LGU that it 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, which is facilitated through Aboitiz Foundation, brings positive impact to all Davaoeños and Davao City towards reversing the trend of new cases,” Aboitiz said.

RNA machine, located at the Los Amigos Laboratory in Davao, is expected to increase the testing capacity and faster testing turnaround time

Meantime, Department of Tourism (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,” Sec. Romulo-Puyat 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 Department of Tourism in bringing focus on 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. It is one of the country’s largest bulk water supply facilities that will supply over 300 million liters per day of safe and sustainable water to the Davaoenos.

Since the start of the community lockdowns in 2020, the Aboitiz Group has implemented various COVID-19 response initiatives nationwide, amounting to over P2.2 billion in monetary and in-kind contributions with the purpose of serving affected communities and medical frontliners nationwide.

About Aboitiz Foundation

The Aboitiz Foundation is the corporate foundation of the Aboitiz Group that was established in 1988. Its purpose is to drive change for a better world by advancing business and communities through programs on education, enterprise development, and environment. Since its inception in 1988, the Foundation’s CSR interventions have evolved from one-time donations to carefully designed programs that empower its beneficiaries to pursue their aspirations.

Today, the Aboitiz Foundation, through the Aboitiz Business Units, develops and implements corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs or CSR 2.0 projects that aim to co-create safe, empowered, and sustainable communities. These CSR 2.0 projects are aligned to the Group’s core competencies, are scalable nationwide, and create deeper social impact on the communities and beneficiaries it serves.

[Article submitted by Jowelle Ann Cruz, Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.]