Duterte directs DOH, DTI to come up with price cap on COVID-19 lab tests, test kits
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered concerned government agencies to determine the price range for the coronavirus disease laboratory tests and test kits.
Under Executive Order No. 118 signed on Wednesday Duterte directed the Department of Health, in coordination with the Department of Trade and Industry, to determine, formulate, and implement a price range for COVID-19 testing conducted by hospitals, laboratories and other health establishments and facilities, including the test kits used in the conduct of said tests, subject to existing laws, rules and regulations.
"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," the EO read.
Duterte issued the EO after complaints some laboratories collect huge amounts for COVID-19 tests.
According to the EO, compliance with the price range shall form part of the standards and requirements for the licensing and accreditation of hospitals, laboratories and other health establishments and facilities as COVID-19 testing centers.
Duterte tasked the DOH to release the appropriate issuances directing all health establishments with existing accreditation to operate COVID-19 diagnostic laboratory to observe the price range.
He warned that failure to comply may be considered as a ground for the revocation of existing licenses and accreditation.
The DOH and DTI were also ordered to undertake continuous monitoring and review of the prices and market supply of COVID-19 test kits and other basic medical items and supplies, and issue such price control measures and adjustments as may be necessary.
The Order shall take effect immediately upon publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation. Celerina Monte/DMS