The Department of Health (DOH) has lowered the price cap for real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests in a bid to prevent overpricing amid the rise of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Based on DOH Circular No. 2021-0374 dated Aug. 26, the price caps will be effective on Monday, Sept. 6.
The Department of Health on Wednesday announced the new price cap for reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) swab tests, making it cheaper and accessible amid the COVID-19 surge. pic.twitter.com/DPWGFssXtp— The Philippine Star (@PhilippineStar) September 1, 2021
The price cap for plate-based testing in public facilities is P2,800, while for cartridge-based GeneXpert is at P2,450.
For private facilities, the price cap for plate-based testing is P3,360 and P2,940 for cartridge-based testing with “20 percent allowable markup.”
As for home services, the price cap is at P1,000 for both plate-based and cartridge-based testing.
Local government units can still offer free swab testing.
The DOH also said testing centers can reduce the prices, but should not exceed the price cap.
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Usec. Ruth Castelo said in today’s Laging Handa press briefing that public consultations with manufacturers, consumers, and lab operators in hospitals were held to decide the new price cap of RT-PCR tests.
“Tinulungan din ng DTI para magsagawa ng pag-aaral sa presyuhan ng test kids… kasama lahat ng factors na ito sa pagaaral kaya may basis ang doh sa paglabas ng presyo, ito na ang pinakamababa na puwedeng mabigay,” she added.
Castelo added that consumers can address their concerns by contacting DTI’s consumer hotline 1384 or sending an email to [email protected].
Under previous DOH and DTI guidelines as of November 2020, the price of RT-PCR testing ranged from P3,800 to P5,000 in public and private laboratories.
The Philippines has recorded 2,003,955 COVID-19 cases, as of Sept. 1.
Banner and thumbnail photo from Walter Bollozos/The Philippine STAR