The Collaborating Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CCDPC) Regional Laboratory

Dedicated for the people of Central and North Luzon the Collaborating Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CCDPC) was built through the vision of Secretary Alberto G. Romualdez, Jr., the patronage of Secretary Manuel M. Dayrit, and the leadership of Director Ethelyn P. Nieto.

It was inaugurated on the 3rd day of December 2001 as witnessed by partners in the health sector.

The Regional Laboratory, together with the Resource Center and Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) are the three arms of the CCDPC which are collectively known as the 3Rs.  The CCDPC is a center that provides immediate response to disease outbreaks in Central Luzon areas.

It is situated at CHD 3 compound, Diosdado Macapagal Regional Government Center, Maimpis, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.

The first chief executive officer of the center was Dr. Rio L. Magpantay, while Dr. Seth Calalang was the manager of the laboratory department and at the same time the head of the Resource Center.  The RESU is headed by Dr. Jesse Fantone up to present.

The current overall head and pathologist of the laboratory is Dr. Ma. Lourdes J. Pasion.  The Drug Testing Section is headed by Dr. Ma. Melinda M. Olesco.

Laboratory services includes:

I.                    Laboratory Examination Services:

a.       Drug Testing
-          Screening test for Tetrahydrocannabinol and Methamphetamine
-          We are also accepting remote collection of specimen

b.      Water Bacteriological Analysis
-          Multiple Tube Fermentation Method
-          Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC)
-          Rapid detection for the presence/absence of E. Coli

II.                  DOH Program-based Services:

a.       Regional Malaria Microscopy Laboratory
-          Conducts training on Basic Malaria Microscopy and Rapid Diagnostic Test
-          Giemsa Stained Light Microscopy Diagnosis
-          Implements Quality Assurance in Malaria Microscopy which includes validation/cross-checking of slides, onsite supervisory visit, and external quality assessment scheme

b.      Regional Tuberculosis Laboratory
-          Conducts basic course on direct sputum smear microscopy and training on quality assurance TB medical technologists controllers
-          Direct sputum smear microscopy examination
-          Implements Quality Assurance in TB

Future services to be offered:

I.                    Physico-chemical analysis of water
-          Color
-          Turbidity
-          Odor
-          Taste
-     Alkalinity (as CaCO3)

CCDPC LABORATORY: Malaria and TB Microscopy Survey

The Collaborating Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CCDPC) Laboratory is currently conducting a survey to assess the current practice on Malaria and TB Microscopy among private clinical laboratories in Central Luzon.  This is of great help in formulating new policies and strategies to improve laboratory diagnosis of Malaria and Tuberculosis.

Please find time to fill-up the form below and you can send it to or  You may contact this number for queries: (045)9612099 loc 123

TB and Malaria Survey

Health Risks of "Penitensiya"

The holy week is a regular holiday in the Philippines.  A time to reflect and remember the sufferings of Christ for our salvation.  Even major malls are closed on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday.

Many Filipino Catholics often depict the sufferings of Jesus Christ during the Lent by self-flagellation or what we call "penitensiya".

Despite the prohibition of the Catholic Church and other government agencies, still many of our countrymen especially the kapampangan continued doing this.

As I was observing the penitents that are passing by, it is still noticeable how most of the people lack knowledge of the risks that this might cause. Observe the people on the video below.

The Department of Health advises those who would still like to undergo penitensya to consult their rural health physician before and after the activity.  If the health workers are observing the universal precaution in their workplace, penitents must also be aware of the possible infections they might contact. An example is tetanus which is found in the soil where penitents usually lie while taking a rest.

Sharing of blades used to inflict wounds at their back must be avoided especially now that Hepatitis and HIV cases are increasing rapidly.

Aside from these infections, penitents might also suffer heat stroke because they often walk barefoot under the sun for long hours. Signs of a heat stroke include a sudden rise in body temperatures, a feeling of weakness, and when a person suddenly stops perspiring.

Since children are on vacation, they tend to follow the penitents while watching them.  Always remind them to stay far to prevent contamination with splattered blood that might give rise to possible infection.

Movement Against Malaria (MAM) e-News

From MAM eNews Team, Volume 6 Issue 1

Movement Against Malaria e-news is an official publication of the Philippine Movement Against Malaria Program.  It is the Program’s way of informing its partners of the activities and accomplishments completed every two months. This also aims to reach out to its stakeholders and encourage them to give their opinion and comments on how to further improve project implementation. The Movement Against Malaria e-news is part of the Shell’s continued commitment of being transparent to all its implementers and associates.

MAM is a malaria prevention and control programme implemented by Pilipinas Shell in 40 provinces nationwide through its social investment arm Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. (PSFI) in collaboration with World Health Organization, Department of Health, and local implementing partners. The MAM supports the country’s National Malaria Control Program and seeks to facilitate the achievement of the goal of a malaria free Philippines by 2020.

Their success stories now hailed recognitions from various sectors. See these stories and more in the newest Movement Against Malaria e-News issue.

For comments and contributions, please send email at
Movement Against Malaria April 2011 e-News, Volume 6 Issue 1

MAM eNews Team

Editorial Advisors:
Editing and Management:
Art and Design:

Quality Management in Clinical Biochemistry

Below is a powerpoint presentation by Dr. Charles D. Stephen that you can use as a guide in putting up quality assurance system in the Clinical Chemistry section of your laboratory.


Genetic Transformation of an Obligate Anaerobe, P. gingivalis for FMN-Green Fluorescent Protein Expression in Studying Host-Microbe Interaction

Chul Hee Choi, Jefferson V. De Guzman, Richard J. Lamont, Özlem Yilmaz

Click to enlarge

Great news! Our contributor and his colleagues have recently published their study on the genetic transformation of an anaerobe, Porphyromonas gingivalis.

This bacteria is a common member of the oral mucosa and can cause severe periodontitis and even a risk factor of coronary heart disease and pulmonary infections.

Generally, green fluorescent proteins (GFP) have been used to study bacteria and other pathogens.  However, most of the GFPs require oxygen to be efficient.

This novel research tool that they created utilize an oxygen-independent GFP and is truly a great development in the scientific research field.

See the entire publication here: Research Article

Photos: Assessment of Malaria Status in Kinabuksan Subic, Zambales

Due to the clustering of Plasmodium vivax cases in barangay Kinabuksan of Subic Zambales, a team from the Center for Health Development-Central Luzon and the Municipal Health Office which was headed by Dr. Rhoda Cruz and Dr. Afable visited the area to assess the situation.

Together with the team are the nurses, midwives, and barangay health workers that will conduct the door-to- door measles vaccination campaign lead by Ms. Gina Manlapig and Ms. Emily.

(Click photos for full view)

Posted below are some of the picture and video shots of activities done by just using the camera of a Nokia C7 smart phone.  Images taken are superb proving how capable this smart phone is during travel and activities like this one.

In order to access the area, a 45 minute motor boat ride from the main town of Subic is needed.

The bangkero

The island is divided in three parts, the Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. From the shore you have to walk several meters away to reach Luzon, the first part of the island barangay where in majority of the families living are Tagalogs.

Dr. Rhoda together with Ms. Gina and Grace

To transport your baggages around the area, the only means is by renting a kariton that is being pulled by a carabao.

The Kariton

Almost every household have their own sleeping nets called "duyan" hanged around the branches of the surrounding trees.

A duyan for babies: a baby while sleeping guarded by several dogs

It is very alarming to see many dogs straying around which possibly contributed to the high dog bite cases of the municipality.

Man's Bestfriend
A brief meeting before proceeding with the activities.

An interview with the family of the malaria positive patients
Follow up blood collection was done

Life style in this island is very simple compared to the busy and fast pace in urban areas.  Children can't even watch televisions because there is no electricity during the day.  There are households with generators where other residents can buy electric power during the night.

While waiting their turn for blood collection, we also had the chance to teach the children a traditional Filipino game called "shato".  Unlike in urban areas where children have the luxury to play some computer games using their PSP, Nintendo, and many other handheld consoles.

Bamboo Stick Fences

Dried Pusit
Sari-sari Store
Bahay na Bato
Mga Nababato

Typical houses in Visayas where most of the people are "Bisaya"
The way to Mindanao area

A Bangka

Rooster feather used as fish bait in fishing

Squid Baits

It was a tiring day.  Time to go home...

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