THE Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recently signed a joint administrative order for setting the price range for reverse transcription-polymerase reaction (RT-PCR) testing to prevent abuse in pricing.
Individuals and companies who wanted to be checked for coronavirus disease (Covid-19) using RT-PCR don’t need to worry about overpricing anymore.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque said setting the price range will promote quality, equitable access, and affordability to Covid-19 testing.
“With this Joint Administrative Order, the government seeks to strike a balance of equity, access and consumer’s choice. In determining the price ranges, we strived to ensure that they are just, equitable and sensitive to all stakeholders,” Duque said.
Under the order, public and private licensed Covid-19 testing laboratories were surveyed to determine the price range.
Factors such as geographic location, ownership, brand, type of test and extraction machine, facility set-up and turn-around time were also considered.
The order also underwent a series of consultations and negotiations, stakeholder reviews and technical deliberation before coming up with the said guidelines.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez also stressed the importance of regulating the testing prices as the country resumes economic activity.
“We have been seeing signs of recovery. And with the increased testing capacity of our country, the demand for testing has also increased. This policy is an opportunity for the government to regulate the prices of testing to make it more affordable and accessible to all Filipinos,” Lopez said.
Upon effectivity of the order, prices will be made transparent and readily available for the public to access and will be subject to monthly monitoring to ensure that it remains fair amidst current developments.