The public can avail of coronavirus testing at cheaper rates in several hospitals and laboratories across the country, Malacañang announced Thursday.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque has shared anew the list of 15 medical facilities that offer reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for coronavirus that range from P1,750 to P2,000.
The list of testing facilities included Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine Children Medical Center, and Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical City.
The government earlier set the price cap for PCR testing to ensure its affordability and accessibility to the public. The price ceiling in private testing centers is set from P4,500 to P5,000 while public testing centers may only charge P3,800 per swab test.
“Pero mayroon naman pong maraming mga mas mababang singil (But there are many facilities with cheaper rates),” Roque said during a televised press briefing.
“Sa Metro Manila ang mababang singil ay nasa Philippine Children’s Hospital, nasa National Kidney and Transplant Institute, sa Lung Center (of the Philippines) at saka sa Perpetual Help Hospital sa Las Piñas. Ang singil po nitong mga ito ay between 1,750 hanggang 2,000 lamang (In Metro Manila, among those offering lower rates are the Philippine Children’s Hospital, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Lung Center of the Philippines, and Perpetual Help Hospital in Las Piñas. They only charge between P1,750 and P2,000),” he said during a televised press briefing.
Also included in the list are Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan City; Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital in San Fernando, Pampanga; Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City; University of Cebu Medical Center in Mandaue City; Cebu Molecular Laboratory; Baguio General Hospital; Zamboanga City Medical Center; Teresita Jalandoni Provincial General Hospital in Negros Occidental; and Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo.
The Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center and St. Paul’s Hospital both located in Tacloban, Leyte likewise offer COVID-19 tests within reasonable rates.
Early this month, President Duterte ordered the implementation of a “just, equitable and sensitive” price range for coronavirus testing in the country.
Under Executive Order No. 118, the President directed the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to formulate and implement the price range to ensure the accessibility and affordability of COVID-19 tests and test kits.
Roque said the two departments have signed a joint oder setting the price range for the PCR testing in the country. This diagnostic test is considered the gold standard in detecting coronavirus infection in a person.
“Alam naman natin na ang pagtaas ng ating testing capacity, tumataas din ang demand sa testing. Ito’y isang pagkakataon para sa inyong pamahalaan na i-regulate ang presyo ng testing na acceptable at justifiable para ma-address ang malaking pagkakaiba or huge disparity sa presyo ng testing na ginagawa ng public and private facilities (We know while our testing capacity increases, the demand for testing also increases. This is chance for your government to regulate the price of testing that is acceptable and justifiable to address the huge disparity in testing price made by public and private facilities),” Roque said.
Roque said testing facilities could “go below the floor price but could not go above the price ceiling.”