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Gordon lauded for his idea of mega swab centers to fight COVID-19

By Mario Casayuran

Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III and Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) president and CEO Vince Dizon have recognized the remarkable efforts of Senator Richard J. Gordon, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), in helping fight the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Senator Richard J. Gordon (Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Senator Richard J. Gordon
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

During the inspection of the swabbing center for COVID-19 at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City Friday morning, Duque and Dizon thanked Gordon for coming up with the idea of putting up testing centers in huge sites such as basketball courts, arenas, and event venues.

“This is the idea of Senator Gordon: to have swabbing centers because this is an important component of the laboratory testing capacity. Aanhin mo iyong laboratory kung kulang ka naman sa swabbing site? So, maigi at naisipan ng ating tagapangulo ng Philippine Red Cross ang mass swabbing (What do you need laboratories for if you lack swabbing sites? It is good that Senator Gordon thought of establishing mass swabbing procedures),” Duque said.

“Sabi ni Senator Gordon, habang naghahanda, kailangan mayroon din tayong facility na magpo-provide ng efficient way para ma-collect iyong specimen ng ating mga kababayan. Ang pinakamataas na testing capacity sa buong Pilipinas ay nanggaling din po sa Philippine Red Cross (Senator Gordon said that while preparing, there should be a testing facility that would provide efficient way of collecting specimen from our countrymen. The PRC has the biggest testing capability),” added Dizon, the concurrent deputy chief implementor of the National Task Force under the Interagency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).

The swabbing facility at the MOA Arena is the second largest testing center in the country next to the one at the Philippine Arena in Bulacan. There are 72 testing booths that are set up at the site.

In a press briefing, Gordon emphasized the significance of PRC’s partnership with the government as he underscored the importance of having more people get tested for the virus.

“Ito ay patunay na nagkakakaisa ang gobyerno at ang Red Cross. Nagtutulungan tayo kung may disaster at dapat naghahanap tayo ng solusyon. I spoke to Secretary Duque and Vince Dizon at noong una, magiging parang quarantine center dapat ito pero ang labanan ngayon ay kung paano natin tatalunin ang nagtatagong COVID. Kailangang ma-test ang mga tao sa lalong madaling panahon upang maihiwalay iyong mga carrier ng virus. This is the fight of the century (This is proof of cordial relations between the PRC and the government. We should help one another during disasters as we find ways of solving problems. When I talked to Secretary Duque and Vince Dizon, this area would have been a quarantine area but the issue now is how to defeat the hidden enemy. Tests should be done fast in order to separate those found positive,)” Gordon said.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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