Araneta City in Cubao, Quezon City, has partnered with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to open an accessible drive-thru saliva collection center for COVID-19 testing in Metro Manila.
A Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) was signed on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, by Araneta City Senior Management Consultant J. Rowell Recinto and Senior Vice President for Operations Antonio Mardo, and PRC Chairperson Richard Gordon, and Secretary-General Elizabeth Zaballa for the new drive-thru saliva collection site.
Under the agreement, the Araneta City Bus Port, located along Gen. Romulo Avenue, in front of Ali Mall, will be the designated drive-thru saliva collection site. The facility will be open from 9 am to 5 pm until August 2021.
In his message during the MoA signing virtual ceremony, Mr. Recinto expressed the company's gratitude for being "given the opportunity to contribute" to the fight against COVID-19.
"We are pleased to offer the Araneta City Bus Port as a drive-thru saliva PCR collection site. We believe that the Araneta City's strategic location will help PRC extend its diagnostic offerings to our people," said Recinto.
Mr. Recinto added that Araneta City will be closely coordinating with PRC to ensure the safe conduct of onsite testing. "In Araneta city, we always put safety first in the City of Firsts."
PRC considers the COVID saliva test a breakthrough because it is less painful and invasive compared to the nasal swab test. The drive-thru format is also safer since riders no longer need to leave their vehicles, which reduces person-to-person contact during testing.
In his speech, Gordon acknowledges the City of Firsts in helping the PRC to establish more accessible COVID-19 testing sites for the public.
"This is our way of bringing back the dynamics of operating business and of our people, to get them to work so that they will be safe, and that they will be able to bring home the bacon to their families," he said.
Those interested to try the drive-thru COVID saliva test at Araneta City may book their appointments online at 143.redcross.org.ph.