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Ayala, Gokongwei, Aboitiz Families, and More Team Up to Build Labs and Boost Testing Capacity

Battling the coronavirus from the corporate front.
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Big businesses are teaming up once more to aid the Philippines' efforts against COVID-19. The Ayala Group has partnered with the Aboitiz Foundation, ABS-CBS Corporation, Alfonso Yuchengco Foundation, Gokongwei Brothers Foundation, and Metrobank Foundation to build more laboratories and boost the country’s testing capacity.

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Headed by the Ayalas, the corporate powerhouses will fund four biosafety level two, modular laboratories in Ayala’s AC Health Qualimed hospitals. The project is part of Ayala’s commitment to provide 5,500 RT-PCR tests per day to help the Department of Health achieve its 50,000 tests per day goal.

The labs, which can process 1,000 RT-PCR tests daily, will be located in Qualimed hospitals in Sta. Rosa, Laguna; San Jose del Monte, Bulacan; Tanauan, Batangas; and Iloilo City, Iloilo. The team hopes the labs will be operational by July 2020.

“Increasing the country’s confirmatory testing capacity is not easy. We are grateful to have been able to form a consortium of friends from the private sector who are just as committed to battling this pandemic. The challenges we are all facing highlight the importance of private sector working in collaboration with the government to ensure our country’s recovery,” said Fernando Zobel de Ayala, chairman of the board of AC Health.

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Ayala’s partners have also contributed greatly against the COVID-19 pandemic on their own. The Aboitiz Group has donated over P1.85 billion in cash and in-kind, while ABS-CBN’s fundraising campaign “Pantawid ng Pag-ibig” has helped over 750,000 struggling Filipino families. Alfonso Yuchengco Foundation has provided consistent financial support to Project Ugnayan and the Serosureillance Campaign of the National Action Plan Against COVID-19, and the Metrobank Foundation has pledged P200 million to support the country’s frontliners.

Meanwhile, the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation has donated P100 million in relief funds and goods, such as ventilators, test kits, PPEs, and food packs to vulnerable communities.

“From our frontliner relief efforts to our contributions to Project Ugnayan, we believe that this partnership is a great addition to the work we are doing. Through this, we aim to support the government's request to help expand testing capacity in the country. We definitely see this as a priority,” said Lisa Y. Gokongwei-Cheng, general manager of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation.

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Esquire Philippines is published by Summit Media, a company owned and managed by the Gokongwei family, who also controls JG Summit Holdings.

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Anri Ichimura
Staff Writer, Esquire Philippines
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