PH Red Cross lowers cost of its COVID-19 tests

Published November 29, 2020, 6:14 PM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Starting December 1, the Philippine Red Cross will conduct COVID-19 testing at a much lower cost to help more Filipinos get tested for the coronavirus.

Philippine Red Cross

PRC chairman Senator Richard Gordon made the announcement on Sunday, saying the Board of Governors has approved lowering its COVID-19 testing in line with its vision to provide access to fast, accurate and affordable COVID-19 testing to Filipinos.

“Natawaran natin ang China na makuha natin nang mas mura ang test kits (we were able to bargain with China that’s why we were able to get the test kits at a much affordable cost),” Gordon said in an interview with TeleRadyo.

Filipinos who will avail themselves of the COVID-19 testing would pay P3,409 if charged to the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) and P3,800 for private individuals.

“Ngayon, ang bayad na lang sa Red Cross para sa COVID-19 test ay 3,409 para sa PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corporation) at P3,800 naman para sa mga hindi charged sa PhilHealth o iyong private individuals,” he said.

“Kung mapapababa pa natin ang bayad sa test kits, ibababa pa natin iyan para mas marami ang ma-test (If we can lower the cost of the test kits, we will lower the charges further so that more people can be tested),” Gordon further said.

He said PRC swab test now costs P3,800 from P4,000 for private clients, walk-ins, and NAIA inbound passengers.

PRC will charge P4,800 for those who wish their results to be expedited, which has a turnaround time of 12-24 hours.

Meanwhile, P3,300 and P3,409 are billed for paying local government units (LGUs) and institutions charged to PhilHealth, respectively.

The proposed changes in the COVID-19 testing would take effect on Dec. 1, 2020. As of Nov. 29, the PRC has tested over one million people in its molecular laboratories all over the country that could test 44,000 tests a day in total.

“The lowering of prices would give way to more Filipinos to afford COVID-19 testing and would help stop the spread of the virus,” the senator said.