University of the Philippines Los Banos opened its COVID-19 Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory (CMDL) on July 10, 2020.
The UPLB-CMDL will serve as a subnational testing center for Laguna and other nearby provinces, in order to help ease a major bottleneck in the COVID-19 response in the country, says a report on the UPLB official website. The center is a core project of the UPLB Task Force Laban ng Bayan Kontra COVID-19.
"We are ready, keen, and committed to help in diminishing the backlog that our country is going through regarding the turnover of COVID-19 test results," said Chancellor Fernando C. Sanchez, Jr. during his speech at the opening ceremony.
This is the latest of many initiatives of the University of the Philippines in helping the country fight the pandemic. Aside from UPLB's dedicated task force, the UP COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team has been working closely with the government in providing research and technology needed to prevent the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the country.
At the inauguration, UP President Danilo L. Concepcion declared that the state university "will never back down in serving the country, and compared how they rose to the challenge of fighting COVID-19 to the time during the second world war when UP doctors and students treated both Filipinos and Japanese in their staunch dedication to their oaths of protecting humanity."
Aside from university representatives, the inauguration was attended by Laguna Governor Ramil L. Hernandez , chairperson of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee and chairman of the Philippine Red Cross Senator Richard Gordon, Presidential Communications and Operations Office Secretary Martin M. Andanar, Assistant Health Secretary Charade Grande, Congresswoman Ruth Hernandez, Los Baños Mayor Caesar Perez, Cabuyao City Mayor Rommel Gecolea, former Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial, and other representatives from local governments.