DoH lauds price cap on COVID-19 testing

Published November 5, 2020, 3:44 PM

by Analou de Vera

The Department of Health said that the price ceiling on COVID-19 testing will protect the public “against unfair and unconscionable prices of essential health services” during this pandemic. 

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said that Executive Order No. 118 signed by President Duterte last Wednesday will ensure equitable and affordable access to COVID-19 tests and test kits. 

The EO was signed after the DoH recommended last September to impose a price ceiling on COVID-19 testing after it observed that the prices of testing vary in different facilities. 

The order directs the DoH and the Department of Trade and Industry to “determine, formulate, and implement” a price range for public and private hospitals, laboratories, and other health facilities licensed by the DoH to conduct COVID-19 testing. 

“Given the COVID-19 pandemic and the prevailing state of a public health emergency, the rising cost of COVID-19 tests may prove unduly burdensome to the Filipino public in this difficult time,” said Duque.

“In protecting the public against hazards to health and safety, it becomes imperative to likewise ensure their protection against unfair and unconscionable prices of essential health services,” he added. 

Duque said that they are now working with the DTI in crafting the guidelines regarding the matter. 

“Pursuant to the executive order, DoH is coordinating with DTI in drafting the implementing guidelines and in diligently reviewing considerations for determining the price range of COVID-19 testing and test kits,” he said.