San Miguel to open COVID-19 testing laboratory with 4,000 per day capacity

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 30 2020 03:50 PM

San Miguel to open COVID-19 testing laboratory with 4,000 per day capacity 1
San Miguel Corporation president Ramon Ang talks to members of the media after the NAIAX inauguration in Pasay City, 01 June 2017. FILE / George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - San Miguel Corp. said Tuesday it would open a COVID-19 testing center along EDSA on July 3 with a testing capacity of 4,000 per day.

The laboratory will use the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, SMC president Ramon Ang said during the company's annual shareholders meeting. 

Its capacity is also expandable to 12,000 per day "if needed," Ang said. 

"This Friday bubuksan natin laboratory natin sa EDSA na makakaprocess ng 4,000 per day PCR testing for COVID-19. Ito po expandable po ito up to 12,000 a day if needed," Ang said.

(This Friday we will open the laboratory along EDSA which can process 4,000 PCR tests per day. This is expandable to 12,000 a day if needed)

"Napakarami po natin ginagawa para makatulong sa mga kababayan natin. Makakaasa po kayo na hindi tayo maghehesitate na tumulong sa mga kababayan natin," he added.

(We have done a lot to help our fellowmen. You can expect that we will not hesitate to help our fellow Filipinos)

PCR testing is considered as the "gold standard" in detecting the COVID-19, Health Secretary Francisco Duque earlier said.

In a statement by the late SMC chairman Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco, read by SMC chief finance officer Ferdinand Constantino, Ang was praised as the "leader we needed during this difficult time."

Its unit Ginebra immediately shifted to producing disinfecting alcohol while San Miguel Foods produced flour and bread to extend aid during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. 

As of June 25, the company's total COVID-19 response effort reached P13.112 billion, it said.

Ang said the company would immediately recover and regain market share once a COVID-19 vaccine is discovered. 

Metro Manila is still under general community quarantine until June 30, pending further easing or extension to be announced by the president and the country's COVID-19 task force.