Pasay City studies proposals allowing some businesses to operate at full capacity under GCQ

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 29 2020 07:53 PM

Pasay City Mayor Emi Calixto-Rubiano talks to the media during the soft opening of The Lord’s Grace Medical and Industrial Clinic, a molecular diagnostic laboratory in Pasay City, on September 29, 2020. The privately owned facility, which can process 2,000 tests per day, partnered with the local government to accommodate individuals wishing to get tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID19). George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The local government of Pasay City is studying proposals to allow some businesses to operate at full capacity under the General Community Quarantine to further open up the economy, as Metro Manila’s GCQ status is extended for another month until October 31.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez had said that it is up to local government units to decide how much capacity increase they will allow for food establishments’ dine-in services, even as he is pushing for some business sectors to be allowed to operate at full capacity.

For the trade chief, the following may revert to full operations already: publishing, music and TV production, film, legal, accounting, management consultancy, architecture, engineering, advertising, science and research development, market research, computer programming, recruitment and placement for overseas employment, photography, wholesale and retail trade.

“Pinag-aaralan talaga natin ‘yan. At kami naman, open. Basta kailangan lang ipatupad talaga ‘yung preventive protocols,” Pasay City Mayor Imelda Calixto-Rubiano said.

“Pero sa ngayon, hindi pa. For this time, kailangan pang matutunan maigi ng mga mamamayan kung ano ang dapat gawin… para sa new normal, readyng-ready na,” she added.

The mayor believes extending the GCQ status of Metro Manila until the end of October will help bring down further the number of new COVID-19 infections in the region.

“Ok naman po na mag-GCQ, para konting sakripisyo pa. Pero mas maganda ang maidudulot nito. Kasi nakikita naman natin, talagang unti-unti nafa-flatten na yung curve,” Rubiano said.

“Ayaw naming masayang po ang mga pagod mula noon. Kaya medyo, sabi nga, one step backward, two steps forward,” she added.

The Pasay City government has partnered with a newly opened molecular laboratory in the city to ramp up COVID-19 testing.

Healthworkers wait outside The Lord’s Grace Medical and Industrial Clinic, a molecular diagnostic laboratory in Pasay City, on September 29, 2020. The privately owned facility, which can process 2,000 tests per day, partnered with the local government to accommodate individuals wishing to get tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID19). George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

The lab has a PCR testing capacity of up to 2,000 samples per day, and can release results within 24 to 48 hours. It offers drive-thru and walk-in swabbing services. It is open from 8am to 8pm.

“’Yung PCR natin, nakapasok tayo with laboratory information system. Paglabas ng results sa PCR machines natin, ‘pag-click natin, automatic magse-send sa DOH ang results. Then, magse-send din sa patients. Sabay-sabay po ‘yan, simultaneously,” said Martin Vizconde, owner of The Lord’s Grace Medical and Industrial Clinic.

Vizconde added that clients can monitor online the status of their PCR test.

The molecular lab has set up a tent for clients who are residents of Pasay City and overseas Filipino workers. 

“Ang maganda rito, ipa-prioritize ang aming constituents kung ano ang mga pangangailangan namin. At syempre, hindi kami masyadong mamahalan sa singil,” Rubiano said, noting that the lab’s rate for Pasay City residents is at P3,500.

“Sa pamamagitan ng ganito, mas madali for the city, dahil hindi na kami magha-hire ng mga bagong employees. Hindi na rin kami magte-train nang matagal. Hindi na kami bibili ng equipment. ‘Yung mga maintenance, hindi na namin iintindihin,” she added.

As of September 28, a total of 32,960 Pasay City residents, or 7.3 percent of the city’s population, have undergone PCR test. The LGU targets to test 10 percent of its population.

Medical technologists work inside the The Lord’s Grace Medical and Industrial Clinic, a molecular diagnostic laboratory in Pasay City, on September 29, 2020. The privately owned facility, which can process 2,000 tests per day, partnered with the local government to accommodate individuals wishing to get tested for the coronavirus disease (COVID19). George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News