By Roy Mabasa
All repatriated overseas Filipino workers need to undergo initial assessment before being tested for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Monday.
The DFA made this advisory as it released the 26 government-certified laboratories for COVID-19 testing where samples taken from an individual or an OFW can be brought.
“Medical authorities will need to make an initial assessment before a person can be tested. If a determination is made to require a test, you will be tested for COVID-19 and your samples will be brought to any of the certified testing laboratories near you,” the DFA said in a statement.
When asked if COVID-19 testing for OFWs will be free of charge, the DFA Assistant Secretary Eduardo Meñez said, “PhilHealth shall pay the package amount for all services rendered by the COVID testing laboratories.”
“I also understand that OWWA is a possible source of payment – so all OFWs should not pay for testing,” Meñez added.
The 26 COVID-19 government testing laboratories and facilities approved to operate as of May 10, 2020 in various parts of the country are as follows:
Chinese General Hospital; Detoxicare Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory; Lung Center of the Philippines; Makati Medical Center; Marikina City Health Office; Philippine Genome Center UP Diliman; Philippine National Red Cross – Mandaluyong; PRC Logistics and Multipurpose Center;
Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM); San Lazaro Hospital; Singapore Diagnostics, Inc.; St. Lukes Medical Center – BGC; St. Luke’s Medical Center – Quezon City; The Medical City – Ortigas; UP National Institutes of Health; Victoriano Luna General Hospital (AFP Medical Center);
Baguio General Hospital; J.B. Lingad Memorial Hospital; De La Salle University –Cavite; Bicol Regional Diagnostic and Reference Laboratory; Western Visayas Medical Center; Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center; Cebu TB Reference Laboratory; Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center; and Southern Philippines Medical Center.