Duterte can regulate COVID-19 testing prices

President Rodrigo Duterte would most likely release an Executive Order to regulate the prices of real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for COVID-19 testing.

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire herself recommended that there should be a price cap on swab tests because laboratories and offer different package rates.

According to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, the President previously released an EO to set a price cap on medicines it is also possible that he would do the same with the swab testing.

Roque also appealed to laboratories that received donations from the government and private sector to lower their COVID-19 testing price.

He also urged the testing facilities to avoid capitalizing on swab testing, which is a useful measure in preventing the spread of the virus.

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List of hospitals offering affordable COVID-19 testing

Malacañang released a list of hospitals that offer real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) COVID-19 tests for a lower cost.

Roque said RT-PCR tests offered in the following hospitals range from P1,750 to P2,000:

  1.  Philippine Children’s Medical Center- Quezon City
  2.  Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital- Caloocan City
  3.  Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital- San Fernando, Pampanga
  4.  Perpetual Help Medical Center- Las Piñas City
  5.  National Kidney and Transplant Institute- Quezon City
  6.  Lung Center of the Philippines- Quezon City
  7.  Western Visayas Medical Center- Iloilo
  8.  Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center- Cebu City
  9.  University of Cebu Medical Center- Mandaue City
  10.   Regional Medical Center- Tacloban, Leyte
  11.  Baguio General Hospital- Baguio City
  12.  Zamboanga City Medical Center- Zamboanga City
  13.  St. Paul’s Hospital- Tacloban, Leyte
  14.  Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital- Silay City, Negros Occidental
  15.  Cebu Molecular Laboratory- Cebu City

COVID-19 testing in many private hospitals could cost between 4,000 to even over P10,000 for faster release of results.

The Palace official said the government hopes to lower the price of RT-PCR testing to around P500 once pool testing begins.

As of September 22, the Philippines recorded 56,097 active cases, 230, 643 recoveries, and 5,049 fatalities.

Metro Manila still logged the highest number of new infections at 583, followed by Cavite with 102, Iloilo with 97, Rizal with 67, and Cebu with 57.