Palace says RT-PCR test can be cheaper than price cap set by gov't
Malacanang said on Wednesday that the RT-PCR test against coronavirus disease could be cheaper than the price cap set by the government.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made the statement after the Department of Health and the Department of Trade and Industry placed the price limit at P3,800 per test in public laboratories while P4,500 to P5,000 in private laboratories.
"That's a cap. Highest price can be charged. It can be cheaper," he said in a text message when asked on observation that the price limit seemed expensive.
Roque earlier said that there were laboratories that charge cheaper RT-PCR tests, which ranged between P1,750 and P2,000.
Among them were the Philippines Children's Medical Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and Lung Center of the Philippines, all in Quezon City, and Perpetual Help Medical Center in Las Pinas.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier issued an executive order directing the DOH, in coordination with the DTI, to determine, formulate, and implement a price range for COVID-19 testing conducted by hospitals, laboratories and other health establishments and facilities, including the test kits used in the conduct of said tests, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations.
He said the departments shall ensure the price range for COVID-19 testing and test kits is just, equitable and sensitive to all stakeholders.
Duterte issued the order after earlier complaints that there were laboratories that collected up to P20,000 per test. Celerina Monte/DMS