PH Red Cross eyes cheaper COVID-19 swab tests, says Gordon
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is working on lowering the price of its swab tests for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) from the previous P3,500 to at least P3,200, Senator Richard Gordon said Wednesday.
At the Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum, Gordon, PRC chair, said he wants to lower the price of the swab tests being offered by the humanitarian organization after the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) made a partial payment of its P1.1 billion debt to the PRC.
“Hinahabol ko na maaprubahan na mas mura. In fact because nagbayad na ang PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corporation), tinatanong ko ‘yung mga tao ko sa computation nila, ibababa ko na ang testing from 3,500 to 3,300 and maybe 3,200,” he said.
(I am working on having the lower price approved. In fact, because PhilHealth has paid a partial payment of its debt, I asked my people on the computation of tests and I will reduce the cost of testing from P3,500 to P3,300 and maybe P3,200.)
“That way mas makakagaang. Hindi natin ma-a-avoid ‘yung bibili ka ng testing kits so I am still negotiating with China na kung pwede babaan pa nilang ibibigay at tsaka ang isang hinahabol ko ngayon ay ‘yung saliva test. ” he added.
(That way, the load will be lighter. We cannot avoid buying test kits so I am still negotiating with China that maybe they can provide the test kits at a lower price. Aside from this, I am also working on the administration of saliva tests.)
According to Gordon, PhilHealth has so far paid a total of P800 million of its debt for the COVID-19 tests accommodated by PRC.
However, he said the amount owed by PhilHealth would still go up after the PRC resumed its testing services on October 24.
The PRC previously suspended accommodating COVID-19 tests chargeable to PhilHealth since October 14 because of the state insurer’s debt.
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