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Not impossible for Duterte to put price cap on COVID-19 swab tests -Palace

Malacañang on Tuesday raised the possibility that President Rodrigo Duterte will impose a price cap on RT-PCR or swab tests for COVID-19.

Duterte’s spokesperson Harry Roque said it was not impossible for the President to release an executive order that will regulate the prices of swab tests, citing an earlier issuance that set a maximum retail price on certain medicines.

“I don’t think it is impossible for him to issue this executive order,” Roque said in a news conference.

The Department of Health (DOH) said on Monday that it had submitted a recommendation to the Office of the President to implement a price cap as it noted the differences in the testing cost across laboratories in the country.

Pending the President’s decision on the DOH’s request, the Palace urged laboratories to bring down prices.

“Alam ko po may mga nagnanais sa inyo bagama’t non-profit kayo na kumita; huwag naman po,” Roque said.

“Ibigay na po natin sa taumbayan iyong benepisyo ‘pag kayo po’y nakatanggap ng libreng makina galing sa gobyerno at sa pribadong sektor o mga libreng mga testing kits. Iyon po talaga ang pangunahing pamamaraan para mapababa po ang halaga ng testing.”

Medical experts considered the RT-PCR test the gold standard for confirmatory testing because it detects the virus that causes COVID-19.—AOL, GMA News