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The Manila Times : Make Covid test kits cheaper – Marcos

News & Interviews
10 September 2021

By Bernadette E. Tamayo | The Manila Times

FORMER senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. on Thursday asked the government to make Covid-19 test kits more affordable, especially to ordinary workers.

He raised the need to make the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kits readily available to the public as the country tries to jumpstart economic activities amid the surge in Covid cases.

Marcos, who himself got infected with Covid-19 in 2020, welcomed the Department of Health's (DoH) decision to lower the price ceiling of RT-PCR tests.

"Malaking tulong 'yung pagpapababa ng (the lowering of the) price cap ng RT-PCR tests (will be very helpful)," he said in a statement.

"But I think the most important issue now is how to make it more accessible to more people," he said in Filipino.

The circular released by the DoH on August 26 set the price cap for the Covid-19 tests from P2,450 to P2,800 for public laboratories and P2,940 to P3,360 in private laboratories.

For home service, at least P1,000 is added to the prevailing prices.

Marcos said as economic activities resume and people's mobility increases, more RT-PCR tests will be required.

The former lawmaker also urged local government units (LGUs) to spearhead efforts in increasing locations where people may avail of the test.

"The methods we have in mind is for the LGUs to deploy mobile testing centers in every barangay (village) so that more people can be tested and so that it will be more convenient to the people," he said.

"Maaari rin silang magbigay ng mga diskuwento kung kinakailangan (they can also give discounts if necessary)," Marcos added.