The government has set a price range for COVID-19 RT-PCR testing, which is considered the gold standard in detecting the virus that causes the respiratory illness, the Department of Health (DOH) announced on Wednesday.
DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III said that the price range for RT-PCR testing for private hospitals and laboratories must be between P4,500 to P5,000. For public facilities, it should be P3,800 per test. He added that this is in accordance with the Joint Administrative Order (JAO) signed by the DOH and the Department of Trade and Industry.
“With this joint administrative order, the government seeks to strike a balance or equity, access, and consumers choice. In determining the price ranges, we strive to ensure that they are just, equitable, and sensitive to all stakeholders,” said Duque.
“The price range will be subject to monthly monitoring to ensure that it remains fair amidst current developments,” he added.
Duque said that the set price range for RT-PCR testing is “evidence-based.”
“Ito ay matapos magsagawa ng malalim at malawakang pag-aaral ng ating mga eksperto [This is after conducting in-depth and extensive studies by our experts],” he said.
“Meron po itong batayan. Hindi po ito parang binunot lang from thin air….so hindi po ganoon. Kami ay bukas para ipaliwanag ang naging batayan ng rekomendasyon ng ating mga eksperto [It has a basis. It was not just pulled from thin air …. so it’s not like that. We are open to explaining the basis of the recommendation of our experts],” he added.
Duque also said that there is a corresponding fine if a facility was found not following the set price range.
“First violation: 15 days suspension of License to Operate (LTO) as a COVID-19 testing laboratory and there’s an administrative fine of P20,000. For the second violation, we have a 30-day suspension of LTO as a COVID-19 testing laboratory and an administrative fine of P30,000. For third violation is revocation of LTO as a COVID-19 testing laboratory,” he said.