Duterte orders DOH, DTI to implement price cap on COVID-19 testing
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to implement a price cap on COVID-19 testing and test kits to ensure its accessibility and affordability.
In his Executive Order (EO) No. 118, Duterte asked the DOH and the DTI to “determine, formulate and implement” a price range for COVID-19 testing.
“The DOH and the DTI shall ensure that the price range for COVID-19 testing and test kits is just, equitable and sensitive to all stakeholders,” Duterte said in his EO signed and made public Wednesday.
— Krissy Aguilar (@KAguilarINQ) November 4, 2020
Compliance with the price range is now part of the requirements for the licensing and accreditation of hospitals, laboratories, and other health facilities as COVID-19 testing centers.
Failure to comply with the price range may be considered as a ground for the revocation of existing licenses and accreditation, the President said.
Earlier, Malacañang called on health facilities not to jack up the rates of their testing services, especially if their machines and test kits are donated.
The DOH submitted to the Office of the President last month a recommendation for the issuance of an EO that imposes a ceiling on the prices of RT-PCR tests amid varying costs of the service in laboratories.
As of Tuesday, there are a total of 387,161 confirmed coronavirus infections in the country, a vast majority of which or 348,967 have recoveries while 7,318 are fatalities. The other 30,876 are considered active cases or those who are still undergoing treatment.
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