Makati City launches affordable COVID-19 tests for residents, workers
MANILA, Philippines — Makati City Mayor Abby Binay on Monday announced that a more affordable COVID-19 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) is already available for residents as well as businesses and establishments operating in the city.
The price range for the swab test in private clinics and hospitals in Metro Manila is around P4,500 to P 8,500. In Makati City, the individual PCR tests will only cost P 2,950, according to the local chief executive.
Binay said the city government teamed up with public hospitals and private testing labs to boost COVID-19 testing among Makatizens. The mayor also noted that the results will be released faster so that the positive cases can receive immediate medical treatment.
“I have always believed in mass testing as a way to prevent further transmission of the coronavirus. From the very start, Makati has looked for ways to bring COVID-19 tests to our employees and residents, especially the most vulnerable sectors of society,” Binay said in a statement.
Makati City is one of the first local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila to implement mass testing for COVID-19. Frontliners, employees, and members of the police force have been tested as early as April.
Aiding business sector
According to Dr. Roland Unson, Assistant City Health Officer of Makati, the program was initiated to support businesses by offering a cheaper rate for pooled sample testing.
“Dinesign namin (na mas mura ang testing) para tulungan yung mga negosyo na makabawi at makapag simula ulit sila ng negosyo na mas makakamura at safe ang trabahador nila,” Unson told Inquirer.net.
(We designed the pooled sample testing to be cheaper to help businesses start again and ensure that their employees are safe.)
Unson also said the testing facility does not have a limit on the number of tests they can process per day.
Pooled PCR tests are preferable for a group of at least 10 individuals. It will cost P 1,000 per person, the LGU said.
Residents and companies can book for their RT-PCR tests privately by logging on to www.safemakati.com. Unson added that those who will book an appointment may choose the date while the local government will provide the time of their appointment.
The testing facility is open from Monday to Sunday and will accommodate individuals from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“Now that we have more experience in mass testing, I am encouraging companies, businesses, establishments, and private individuals to take advantage of our offer. Just go online and book for a test, even if you don’t feel any symptoms or have not come in contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19,” Binay said.
Free testing for indigents
Unson also explained that individuals from poor communities may avail themselves of the testing for free if they were exposed to COVID-19 patients.
“‘Yung mga mahihirap po if talagang sila ay na-expose sa COVID patients, wall pong bayad ang swab test natin sa kanila,” he said.
(The swab tests are free for individuals from poor areas and are exposed to COVID patients.)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.