Concepcion: PMA & Go Negosyo Project ARK to Work Together to Save Lives and Livelihoods

TOGETHER, LET'S WIN THIS WAR. Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion along with PMA President Dr. Jose Santiago,  Commission on Legislation Chair and Former PMA President Dr. Oscar Tinio, and ARK Medical Team Leader Dra. Minguita Padilla, during a private dialogue and a virtual presser on Project ARK (Antibody Rapid test Kits) today, June 1.

JUNE 1, 2020 - Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion led a private dialogue and a virtual presser on Project ARK (Antibody Rapid test Kits) with the Philippine Medical Association (PMA) team through its President, Dr. Jose Santiago.

“We’re not declaring war to anybody, we’re declaring war to the invisible enemy. We should be one in our mission and objective to defeat COVID-19. Conversation, not confrontation; collaboration not competition. We cannot afford another lockdown or second wave of infection,” Dr. Santigao emphasized.

He urged both organizations to work together, on what he called a bayanihan effort between PMA and Project ARK to curb the spread of the disease. “We know where Joey Concepcion is coming from, we also have to understand that the health of the economy is very critical now,” adding “We cannot win this war if we are divided, we have to stay united with one another. Together we save lives, together we save the economy.”

“If we work together, that will be a potent force. Maybe we can have a joint project between Go Negosyo ARK and PMA on a webinar where we invite all the doctors, medical groups and associations, and the private sector to come together and discuss a vision on how we collaborate more. Share information, and bring inputs from the various sectors, ” Concepcion said. “The pressure has been mounting since these very unfortunate times happened. We in the private sector our doing all our best efforts to help the government as well as our respective companies and the local government unit head-on against the pandemic. We must use all the tools available to us at the moment to protect the lives and livelihood of our people and to effectively fight COVID-19.”

Concepcion’s Project ARK has taken the steps to boost both rapid and PCR testing across the country, while the government has made great strides, under the leadership of Sec. Carlito Galvez, to construct more COVID-19 facilities. The initiative has partnered to more than 300 companies and raised more than 1.2 million rapid test kits plus activating and automating 12 hospitals and adding more 12,000 testing capacity through the help of ARK-PCR Private Sector Chief Implementor Jannette Garin. The private and the public sector is working closely and doing all possible means to curb the virus.

ARK Medical Team Leader Dra. Minguita Padilla also said that ARK test protocol is not a question of using a rapid test kit or PCR, but complementation of the different diagnostic means with other measures to keep the people safe from infection. “We wish to find a balance. This we are trying to do through the strategic and complimentary use of rapid tests, combined with RT-PCR testing. This is our contribution to slowly bring back to normal our livelihood.”

“A platform has already been created for all of us to work together,” ARK-PCR Private Sector Chief Implementor and Iloilo Representative Jannette Garin shared.

Present also was former health secretary Dr. Manuel Dayrit, who called for strategic testing now that the government eases to GCQ. “Now that we’re going into GCQ, we really need to be creative in the way we test. The two cornerstones in the GCQ would be trace and test. Were actually moving zero surveillance, is to do random testing of people in 4800 households. Presenting serosurveillance using Roche immunoassay + CTK Biotech lateral flow test, and also use the PCR test to confirm the presence of infection. This is one approach to map the infection which, hopefully, complements other return-to-work initiatives.”

Dr. Oscar Tinio, Chair, Commission on Legislation and Former PMA President encouraged the participants: “We are opening a lot of windows and doors. We’re in this together. We can learn from each other.”

Also present during the press conference were ARK Project Leader Josephine Romero, Barangay Pilot Leader Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar, George Royeca, Dr. Bennie Atienza, VP of PMA, Dr. Ria Tamayo-Fajardo, National Secretary, Philippine College of Occupational Medicine and Medical Director of Perpetual Help Medical Center in Biñan, Dr. Phil Pangilinan, President, Philippine College of Occupational Medicine, among others.