Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, RT-PCR tests remains prohibitive for most Filipinos

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, RT-PCR tests remains prohibitive for most Filipinos

The country together with the rest of the world has been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. And just when the Philippine government thought that the situation will truly be improving for good, the omicron variant has caused a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases especially in Metro Manila in the last two weeks.

Because of this resurgence of COVID-19 cases, it is appropriate for us to look into the current price of undergoing COVID-19 testing in the country. It is relatively easy to have yourself tested especially in private testing laboratories. However, it can cost the patient as much as P3,360 with the results available within 24-48 hours.

Prior to the Department of Health’s implementation of a price cap for COVID-19 testings, patients can be charged as high as P10,000. The current price nevertheless is still too prohibitive even here in Metro Manila where the minimum wage is at P537 per day.

COVID-19 swab testing philippines
RT-PCR tests for COVID-19 remains inaccesible for most Filipinos.
(Photo credits: https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1154226)
The Philippine National Red Cross, for its part, is conducting RT-PCR swab tests for P2,800 each and saliva tests for P1,500. It is possible for you to be tested for free through the local government unit but booking for an appointment can take days, and you will have to wait for a few more days to get the results.
There is an urgent need for the Philippine government to make the price of RT-PCR tests more accessible and affordable for Filipinos. Otherwise, too many people will most likely forgo testing because it’s highly inconvenient and expensive.

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Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here: https://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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