Press Release

Palace announces availability of cheaper swab testing in select facilities nationwide

Filipinos can now avail of cheaper swab testing in fifteen (15) automated PCR testing centers in select hospitals nationwide.

“Sa mga lugar pong ito, dahil donated ang mga makina at mga test kits, P1,750 hanggang P2,000 lang po ang babayaran,” said Presidential Spokesperson Secretary Harry Roque, Jr in his press briefing on September 22 referring to the Project Ark initiative.

The following PCR Testing Centers in Metro Manila include Philippine Children Medical Center, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital, Perpetual Help Medical Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and Lung Center of the Philippines.

In Cebu, residents can go to Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, University of Cebu Medical Center, and the Cebu Molecular Laboratory.

Completing the 15 PCR testing centers are Baguio General Hospital, Zamboanga City Medical Center, Teresita Jalandoni Provincial General Hospital in Negros Occidental, Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo, and the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center and St. Paul’s Hospital, both in Tacloban, Leyte.

All these hospitals are now equipped to perform both individual and pooled testing at a reduced cost, and are capable of producing and releasing test results within 48 hours. With pooled testing, cost of swab test can be reduced to P550-P1,000 depending on the prevalence.

On another matter, the Palace spokesman reiterated some of the salient points from President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s Talk-to-the-People Address the previous night, September 21.

The Palace official underscored the President’s wish to cut delays and expedite the cases related to PhilHealth.

Secretary Roque also articulated the President’s explanation on extending the state of calamity until 12 September 2021, noting PRRD’s statement that the extension will give the national government and local governments time to marshall their resources to beat the pandemic.

“Inanunsyo rin kagabi ni Presidente ang pag-aalis ng ban on healthcare workers na may perfected and signed contracts, as of August 31, 2020. Makakapagtrabaho na po itong mga health professionals na ito sa ibang mga bansa,” said Sec Roque. The President likewise appealed to our healthcare workers to serve the Filipino people, Roque remarked.

On the comments of Vice-President Leni Robredo and other government critics that there are still more to be done in the fight against COVID-19 and that the government still has no concrete plans, Secretary Roque pointed out the actions that the government has already done so far. These include the country’s high COVID-19 testing rate, the use of the Magalong formula in intensified contact tracing, the number of isolation centers that are now available, and the One Hospital Command for effective hospital referrals, among others.

“Wala daw po tayong ginagawa. Well, sila lang ata ang hindi nakakaalam kung ano ang ginagawa ng gobyerno. Buksan po ang mga mata at buksan po ang mga pandinig,” Roque stressed.

More specifically, Sec. Roque, who is the concurrent IATF spokesperson, said that the government is currently implementing now the Phase 2 of the National Action Plan against COVID-19 where the economy is gradually being reopened, localized and granular lockdowns are being implemented, and testing, tracing, isolation, and treatment are continuously being strengthened. ### OPS-PCOO