From 1988 to 2001, the ARSP had no laboratory nor office facilities of its own and was utilizing available laboratory space at the microbiology department of RITM. In 2001, as part of a grant from the International Bank for Rural Development project on Women’s Health and Safe Motherhood project, the initial laboratory and office facilities of the ARSP were set-up each occupying a small room (2.5 x 7 meters) at the RITM. At that time, the ARSP had already substantially expanded its surveillance activities receiving a considerable culture and susceptibility data per year from 20 sentinel sites in 9 regions.
As the surveillance program activities further expanded, all the program’s activities could no longer be accommodated in the single room spaces and thus, the ARSP chair lobbied for funds for said purpose. In 2010, as per decision of the DOH Execom under the administration of Secretary Francisco Duque, the ARSP was given a suballotment of twenty million pesos (P 20M), P 10 million of which was allotted as capital outlay to build a bigger laboratory and office, purchase additional laboratory equipment (2 Units Biological Safety Cabinets, 1 unit Carbon dioxide incubator, 1 drying oven 1 O2 incubator, 1 fumehood, 1 autoclave, 1 laminar flow cabinet, 10 loop incinerators, 2 microscopes, electrophoresis tanks, 1 real time PCR machine and 1 lyophilizer) and to purchase a vehicle. The new ARSRL had a bigger floor area of 144 square meters, had separate sections in the laboratory intended for EQA, lab space for molecular diagnostic tests, a sections in the laboratory intended for EQA, lab space for molecular diagnostic tests, a sterilization, autoclave and media preparation room, and main laboratory room.
Because of the available space, the ARSRL was able to perform additional procedures such as polymerase chain reaction, pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), automated agar dilution, and others. These expanded capabilities enable the ARSRL to confirm through PFGE an international outbreak strain of Salmonella Tennessee which was traced to a peanut butter product imported from the United States and a local outbreak strain of Vibrio Cholera which was traced to a contaminated well.