Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza-Dimaporo earnestly thanked OPAPP Secretary Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. and the Chief Implementer of the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases for accepting the invitation to personally witness and be part in celebrating the milestone achievement of the Provincial Government for the people of the Province of Lanao del Norte.

The Provincial Chief Executive narrated to the Secretary the compelling reasons that persuade her to establish a Molecular Biology Laboratory in the province. One, in particular, is the urgency of time in knowing the results of patients suspected of having COVID-19, where the swab specimens are needed to be brought to Cagayan de Oro, Davao, or to Manila which takes much time due to the volume of specimens submitted by other provinces.

With this, Governor Angging expressly submitted her intention to the Department of Health 10 Regional Director, Dr. Adriano P. Suba-an in creating a COVID-19 Testing Laboratory for accessibility and real-time detection. And it was timely, that the Bayanihan Grant to Cities and Municipalities were approved by Congress, the League of Provinces of the Philippines then lobbied to Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ T. Go to include also the provinces. The Bayanihan Grant to Provinces was granted and the provinces received a one-half month of their Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA).

Governor Angging humbly stated that the grant received was diligently utilized in the repair for the laboratory and procurement of essential equipment for the hospital, medical, and laboratory. The remaining were used to address other COVID-19 related activities.

Governor Angging also extends her gratitude to DOH Regional Director Suba-an for the unwavering assistance provided to the Provincial Government, especially in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secretary Galvez, Jr. praises the leadership of Governor Angging in containing the spread of COVID-19 and curtailing the number of cases by implementing local health measures through issuances of Executive Orders and Provincial Ordinances in accordance with the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force and the health protocols recommended by the Department of Health, and strongly supported by the Local Chief Executives, Municipal Health Offices, concerned national line agencies, and above all the cooperation of the general public. Also, recognizes the effort of Governor Angging in addressing other prevalent health issues amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, such as the increasing number of persons suffering from renal disease by establishing Dialysis Centers in the province.

“Governor Angging is a strong leader but she also listens to suggestions,” the good Secretary said. The series of consultation and coordination meetings demonstrates that the Provincial Government considers the opinions of other offices, especially the Local Government Units, as a way to come up with cohesive and responsive measures to protect the safety and health of the people.

The Lanao del Norte COVID-19 Testing Laboratory is the only facility in Northern Mindanao created and financed by an LGU, and one (1) of the 21 LGUs in the country that have this kind of laboratory, Secretary Galvez, Jr. added.

DOH 10 Regional Director Suba-an, congratulated Governor Angging for a successful project, and appreciate the strong collaboration between and among the stakeholders in managing the COVID-19 pandemic, and also looking forward to more engagement, including the implementation of the Universal Health Care as part of the Integration Site.

The momentous activity was also joined by 2nd District Representative, Congressman Abdullah ‘Bobby’ Dimakuta Dimaporo, OPAPP Undersecretary David Diciano, Vice Governor Maria Cristina N. Atay, Board Member Abdul Harris U. Ali, Mayor Barry Y. Baguio of Kapatagan, Lt. Gen. Corleto S. Vinluan, Jr.-Commander of the Western Command, Major Gen. Generoso M Ponio-Commander of the 1st Infantry Division, Dr. Neal C. Rana-Head of Northern Mindanao TBRC and Dr. Cheryl S. Balane-Chief of Regulation Licensing Enforcement Division DOH 10, and was held at Old Kapatagan Provincial Hospital, Municipality of Kapatagan on September 30, 2020. PIO-LDN