TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The health department recognized the city government under the leadership of Mayor Darwin C. Estrañero for having one of the best practices in terms of the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic response at the height of the rapid spread of the virus.
In a memorandum addressed to all regional directors of the health department, Undersecretary Nathaniel Santiago named Tabuk City as having the best practice in COVID-19 response following the establishment of the city-owned molecular laboratory that paved the way for the significant reduction in the turn around time in the release of swab test results of suspected COVID-19 patients.
The said award and recognition will be received by city officials led by Acting Mayor Dick Bal0o during the awarding ceremony that will be held on December 1, 2023 at the National Capital Region (NCR).
Tabuk City joined the ranks of top performing regional health offices, public and private health facilities that will be receiving similar recognitions for their effective and efficient COVID-19 pandemic response that allowed the containment of the rapid spread of the deadly virus in their respective areas of jurisdiction.
Earlier, the city government in its desire to expand its testing capacity and to sustain the Tabuk City COVID-19 reverse transcription testing laboratory created the molecular laboratory section under the ancillary and health support services division of the City Health Services Office through Ordinance No. 11, series of 2021.
The creation was primarily done to cater to the growing demand of COVID-19 testing not only in the city but also in other neighboring towns of Kalinga, Isabela, Cagayan and even Mountain Province.
The said section was responsible for the functionality of the testing laboratory to include specimen collection, specimen acceptance and rejection, actual RT-PCR testing, online reporting to the COVID-19 document repository system, implementation of the quality assurance program, inventory of supplies and logistics.
With the creation of the said section, the local government opened the filled-up items of one medical technologist, two additional medical technologists among others.
The creation and hiring of available positions are clear testaments of the local government’s management decision in effectively and efficiently addressing the pressing need of lack or scarce health human resource.
Tabuk City was the first local government to establish the city-owned molecular laboratory among all other local governments in Northern Luzon that paved the way for the recognition given by the health department.
The health department came out with the COVID-19 Laboratory Network recognition ceremony to give due recognition to the unrelenting and unwavering efforts of the concerned stakeholders in effectively and efficiently implementing programs, projects and activities that guarantee the health and wellness of the populace.
Santiago claimed that the awardees that include regional health offices and laboratories went above and beyond their role in the pandemic response as part of the COVID-19 Laboratory Network.