Ayala group renews commitment to support IATF efforts, plans further investments to fight COVID-19
(L-R) Jun Bisnar, President of Cebu Holdings, Inc.; Fernando Zobel de Ayala, President and COO of Ayala Corporation; Usec. Bong Vega, IATF Chief Treatment Czar; Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe of the WHO; Dr. Edwin Mercado, President & CEO of Qualimed Health Network; DOH Sec. Francisco Duque III; Paolo F. Borromeo, President & CEO of AC Health; DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana; Gov. Ramil Hernandez of Laguna; IATF Chief Implementer Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr.; and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Chairman and CEO of Ayala Corporation.
The Ayala Group, led by its healthcare unit, Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (AC Health), has committed to further increase its efforts to support the government in the fight against COVID-19, during a meeting with IATF officials.
On July 25, the AC Health group, led by Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Fernando Zobel de Ayala, welcomed DOH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III, DND Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana, IATF Chief Implementer Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., IATF Chief Treatment Czar Usec. Bong Vega, Laguna Gov. Ramil Hernandez, and Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe of the WHO to Qualimed Sta. Rosa for a tour of the hospital and a discussion of Ayala's COVID-related initiatives and various collaboration efforts with the government.
“Being one of the first private institutions to respond to COVID-19, the Ayala group continuously works with the IATF and the government in providing testing and treatment modalities for patients all over the country. Mabuhay po kayo!,” Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said.
"We are very thankful to the Ayala Group for heeding the call for greater collaboration between the government and private sector, and more importantly, for demonstrating the indomitable Bayanihan spirit of the Filipino people. This partnership between government and private sector is crucial in winning the battle against COVID-19, and making the successful transition to the 'new normal.’,” Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr. added.
As of June 30, the Ayala Group and AC Health have provided much needed COVID-related support to the government and the general public, with over P9B allocated for COVID-19 initiatives. Among these initiatives were the construction and upgrade of treatment and quarantine facilities like the World Trade Center We Heal As One facility, the Philippine Red Cross testing lab and 7 RT-PCR laboratories across the country. Swabbing booths for the government’s 4 mega Swabbing centers and NAIA terminals were also provided. Monetary and in-kind donations were allocated for testing kits, RPT machines, PPEs, among others.
"The Ayala Group renews its commitment to support the Department of Health (DOH) and Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) to address our local health care needs in light of the pandemic. In the next few weeks, we will continue to ramp up our testing capacities, expand our treatment and isolation facilities, and roll out various innovations, including a lower cost non-invasive ventilator, and an online healthcare platform,” Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Chairman of the Board of AC Health said.
Throughout the crisis, AC Health has maintained operations of their FamilyDOC primary care clinics, Healthway multi-specialty clinics, and Generika drugstores, providing much needed healthcare and medicine to patients. It has also led the conversion of Qualimed Sta. Rosa into a COVID-19 referral hospital, and has already capacitated 4 accredited COVID-19 laboratories located at the Tropical Disease Foundation (TDF) and Qualimed hospitals at Sta. Rosa, Laguna, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, and Iloilo City, Iloilo. Testing equipment were also donated to the University of Cebu Medical Center (UC Med) and Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC).
To further support the government, AC Health plans to double the capacity of TDF from 200 daily tests processed to 400 by purchasing additional equipment and increasing manpower. In addition, the Daniel Mercado Medical Center (DMMC) in Batangas, a member of the Qualimed Health Network, was also recently accredited as a COVID-19 laboratory for an additional 1,000 tests per day. With these advances, the Ayala Group will provide a total daily testing capacity of 5,650 tests per day, in support of the DOHIATF’s T3 (Test, Trace Treat) program.
In addition, in partnership with Qualimed Sta. Rosa, led by Dr. Edwin Mercado, AC Health is looking to expand the hospital’s isolation and quarantine facilities, as cases continue to rise in the Laguna area. Qualimed Sta. Rosa has been able to screen nearly 3,000 suspect cases and has admitted over 100 confirmed cases since the beginning of March.
Furthermore, the Ayala Group through its subsidiaries has planned additional investments in innovative COVID-related programs, particularly to help improve the country’s supply of ventilators and to promote teleconsultation.
AC Industrials manufacturing platform Integrated Micro-Electronics Inc. (IMI), a globally leading manufacturing services provider, has brought in the Ventura CPAP ventilator, a low-cost non-invasive ventilator, for Philippine use. The Ventura was developed by IMI’s United Kingdom-based subsidiary, Surface Technology International, in collaboration with international institutions and has been approved for use in the United Kingdom. The Ventura is now manufactured in IMI’s Laguna complex and once certified locally, will make available an additional 10,000 ventilators for the country.
Meanwhile, Globe Telecom's 917Ventures and AC Health's Vigos Ventures are also collaborating to create HealthNow, an all-in-one health app that will offer video consultations, medicine delivery, and clinic appointment booking, to be launched in August. By providing online access to doctors and healthcare services, HealthNow allows patients to get immediate care, and can also help decongest hospitals.
“We remain committed to protecting our fellow Filipinos and will continue to invest in much-needed testing and treatment facilities for our communities, and look for even more innovative ways to help. This is a tremendous challenge but we are one with the government in fighting this virus.” AC Health President and CEO Paolo Borromeo added.