CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–In a bid to ensure the safety of its employees and transacting public the Bureau of Customs (BOC)-Port of Cagayan de Oro in partnership with Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Misamis Oriental-Cagayan de Oro Chapter conducted a mass saliva testing inside the Bureau of Customs District Office in Barangay Macabalan, March 10.
The use of saliva as an alternative specimen for RT-PCR testing has already been approved by the Department of Health, January 21 and Philippine Red Cross in Misamis Oriental started its saliva-based coronavirus testing in the first week of February.
The saliva test is a less invasive specimen collection methodology and individuals would have to spit their saliva inside a 1-milliliter vial which will be sealed and documented for results.
Included in the mass testing are the employees of BOC Cagayan de Oro and its sub-port Mindanao Container Terminal in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental. Processors and brokers who are constantly transacting with the public of the port also supported the activity and submitted themselves in the saliva-based test.
Liezzl Guirita, a registered nurse who administered the test, said the saliva-based test also undergoes the RT-PCR technique, a gold standard for COVID-19 testing, thus its accuracy is reliable.
It is also cheaper than swab testing which is only priced at P2,000 compared to the P4,000 price of swab testing. The result is expected to come out in 24-48 hours from the actual collection of the specimen.
The Bureau of Customs Cagayan de Oro is the first government office in Misamis Oriental to conduct a mass saliva-based testing according to the Philippine Red Cross.
“We know that the vaccine is already around but most of us have not been inoculated yet, so we have to continue to be vigilant and guard ourselves and our transacting public from the deadly virus,” said Collector John Simon, District Collector of BOC-10. (BOC10/PIA10)