Filtered By: News

Private sector contributes majority of COVID testing in Philippines

The private sector has accounted for most of the coronavirus tests conducted in the Philippines, the government reported Tuesday.

According to data released by Coronavirus Plan deputy chief implementer Vivencio Dizon in a Senate hearing, a total of 11,123 tests have been conducted on May 14, 2020. More than half or 66% of the capacity was contributed by the private sector -- the Philippine Red Cross accounted for 45%, with other private firms contributing 21%.

Meanwhile, for the government share of 34%, the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) contributed 16% while other government agencies shared 18%.

Dizon did not release cumulative data for tests conducted by the government and the private sector since testing started.

A day earlier, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said the government will not shoulder the cost of mass testing of employees returning to work.

"In an ideal world, dapat lahat ng tao, ma-test [for COVID-19]. Pero ang RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing laboratories natin ay 30 pa lang. Eh dapat, di bababa sa 90. Nagkakaubusan rin ng rapid test kits," Roque said Monday.

"Ini-increase pa po natin ang ating testing capacity to 30,000 [a day by May 30]….kaya wala pong ganyang programa (mass testing) ang gobyerno. Kaya iniiwan po natin yan sa pribadong sektor," he elaborated.

For its part, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) said that the government should provide for COVID-19 testing of private employees as most businesses do not have the capacity to finance such efforts.—AOL, GMA News