UP Mindanao Chancellor Larry N. Digal and Philippine Genome Center (PGC) Mindanao Director Lyre Anni Murao witnessed the blessing of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-11 COVID-19 Testing Laboratory on 18 January 2021 in Davao City, in the company of Philippine National Police Chief General Debold Sinas and PRO-11 Director Brigadier General Filmore Escobal.
UP Mindanao, through the experts in PGC Mindanao, will train the lab personnel in biosafety and molecular diagnostics and prepare them for proficiency testing by the Department of Health−Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM). UP Mindanao will also assist in the development of a manual on standard of operations for the lab and provide consultancy services, if requested, for technical issues that may arise during the regular operations of the laboratory. These roles were set forth in the memorandum of agreement which UP Mindanao signed with the PRO-XI on 16 September 2020.
In addition, the lab can be an extension laboratory of the UP Philippine Genome Center for research and development collaboration to study and mitigate the spread of infectious diseases in the Southern Philippines. The PRO-11 COVID-19 lab expands the network being built by UP Mindanao and PGC Mindanao for these purposes, which already includes COVID-19 labs in Tagum City and Davao de Oro Province.
UP Mindanao’s service offering to the PRO-11 lab is part of its Mindanao Health Initiatives which includes a medical education program, a center for infectious diseases, and a hospital in partnership with the Davao City local government unit.