Provincial Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza-Dimaporo is happy to inform the people of the Province of Lanao del Norte that the Provincial COVID-19 Testing Laboratory at old Kapatagan Provincial Hospital has been approved to start its operation by the Department of Health-Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
 
After complying with the necessary requirements, DOH-RITM has given the Molecular Biology Laboratory of Lanao del Norte a license to operate with a perfect score of 100%, a Proficiency Test Result for SARS-CoV-2 Detection by Real-Time PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction).
 
Governor Angging was extremely happy and relieved to know after months of preparations to comply with the strict requirements of DOH-RITM, from building construction, purchasing of state of the art medical equipment and machines, coordination and cooperation with various offices and agencies concern, including the series of training of personnel task to operate the Provincial COVID-19 Testing Laboratory.
 
The Lanao del Norte COVID-19 Testing Laboratory is the only Molecular Biology Laboratory in Northern Mindanao solely financed by the Provincial Government. The project of establishing a COVID-19 Testing Laboratory was due to the necessity of detecting real-time results of the PCR, a confirmatory test to determine persons positive or negative from COVID-19.
 
With this essential laboratory now operational, it will help advance the interest of the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte in curtailing the spread of COVID-19 by early detection through testing of suspected individuals and isolating them for appropriate medical treatment.
When the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte received the Bayanihan Grant to Provinces, the good Governor immediately heed the call of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and diligently used a portion of the fund to establish a COVID-19 Testing Laboratory and the remaining were utilized to COVID-19 related activities to help the province.
 
Dr. Neal C. Rana, Head of Northern Mindanao TBRC RT PCR has played a vital role in the preparation and application process by sharing his expertise with the Provincial Government through constant engagement with the Governor and the Department Heads. Also, the Department Heads were actively involved in the project, and by making sure that all instructions are followed and done right on schedule, for Governor Angging greatly considers the importance of time to win the fight against COVID-19.
 
The Provincial Chief Executive earnestly thanked President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for the unwavering support extended to the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte and expressed her greatest appreciation for the support and cooperation of the following that made the important endeavor possible: DOH Regional Dr. Adriano Subaan; Dr. Cheryl Balane, the Division Chief of Regulatory Licensing and Enforcement Division (RLED) Center for Health Development Northern Mindanao (CHD-NM); Dr. Neal C. Rana, head of Northern Mindanao TBRC RT PCR Laboratory; the Officers of RITM and DOH Central Office; University of the Philippines-Philippine Genome Center; Southern Philippines Medical Center for shadowing the training of PGLDN medical staff, the PGLDN Incident Management Team, the Honorable Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan chaired by Vice Governor Maria Cristina ‘Crsity’ N. Atay; and the Offices of the two Congressional District Representatives, 1st District Congressman Mohamad Khalid Quibranza Dimaporo, and the father of peace and development, 2nd District Congressman Abdullah ‘Bobby’ Dimakuta Dimaporo.
 
The dream of having a COVID-19 Testing Laboratory in the province will not be realized without the determination and leadership of Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza-Dimaporo by actively monitoring the project and by challenging the concerned Department Heads in fast-tracking the application process and by sticking with the timeline, including the delivery of essential equipment and machines by the suppliers has helped accomplish the Provincial COVID-19 Testing Laboratory, for the welfare and best interest of the people of the Province Lanao del Norte, “The Land of Beauty and Bounty.” PIO-LDN