Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso has signed an ordinance realigning P40 million of the city’s budget to purchase more medical equipment and supplies to strengthen Manila City’s COVID-19 mass testing efforts.

Domagoso signed Ordinance No. 8657 which authorizes a budgetary realignment to cover COVID-19 related expenses of the Manila City government.

“Gagamitin natin itong P40 million para palakasin ang health sector, and to commit ourselves for mass testing in Manila,” Domagoso said in a statement.

“This is part of our continuous efforts in sustaining and strengthening our health servcces in our own little way for the peace of mind of our people. This effort is make COVID-19 testing accessible, efficient and free for all,” the Mayor said.

Under the ordinance, the Manila City Council approved the supplemental budget which will be sourced from the City Development Fund.

About P20 million will be allocated for the procurement of COVID-19 testing reagents, P10 million for the maintenance and operating expenses of COVID-19 testing laboratories, and P10 million for the purchase of medical equipment.

The Manila City government has been consistently strengthening its efforts to make COVID-19 tests free for all, both Manilans and non-Manilans.

The city government currently has two drive thru testing sites: one in front of the Andres Bonifacio Monument and one at the Quirino Grandstand.

Likewise, the city government currently has two walk-in testing sites: one at the Ospital ng Sampaloc and another at the Gat Andres Bonifacio Memorial Medical Center.

To process COVID-19 tests, Domagoso said the city government is using serology testing machines from American healthcare firm Abbott which have accuracy of 99.6% for specificity and 100% for sensitivity.

As of writing, the Manila City government has four COVID-19 serology testing machines which are able to process more than 89,000 tests a month.

The Mayor bared during a meeting with city health officials and hospital directors that another serology testing machine will be procured by the city government. This will increase the city government’s serology testing capability to about 112,000 tests a month.