Sun.Star Davao

DTI, DOH continue RT-PCR test, kits price monitoring

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THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Health (DOH) in Davao Region have worked together to ensure the implementa­tion of the mandated price range for the Covid-19 testing and testing kits.

The two government agencies issued last November 24, 2020 the Joint Administra­tive Order ( JAO) No. 2020-0001, or the Guidelines for the Implementa­tion of Executive Order No. 118 on Regulation­s of Prices for COVID-19 RT-PCR Testing and Test Kits. This issuance related to the Reverse Transcript­ase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing and test kits aims to foster transparen­cy and fairness among all stakeholde­rs. As such, the concerned government offices have to make sure that both the private and public hospitals and laboratori­es continuous­ly comply with the JAO’s provisions when conducting the required tests to determine Covid-19 infection.

This year, the series of joint monitoring and enforcemen­t activities of DTI and DOH have already covered a total of 13 private and public hospitals and one diagnostic center. These were conducted in the cities of Davao and Panabo both in March and April.

Of the total, nine hospitals were found non-compliant with the mandated price range based on the DOH Department Circular No. 2020-0391, or the Price Range for Covid-19 RT-PCR. According to the said circular, the maximum price for RT-PCR test is P5,000.00 for private hospitals and laboratori­es and P3,800.00 for public health facilities.

DTI 11 Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi said the non-compliant hospitals were given a stern warning. They were also advised to lower down their prices and comply with the prescribed price range.

“The first time we visit an establishm­ent or a health facility and a violation has been observed, we immediatel­y issue a warning. If we would still have the same observatio­n during the follow-up monitoring, or the next time we visit them, we will already issue a Notice of Violation,” Ambi said, adding that the erring establishm­ent or hospital may have to face permanent closure if they continue to violate any of the existing laws.

The mandated price range shall be subject for review and change by the DOH and DTI whenever necessary and applicable. Hence, the said agencies will continue to monitor closely the licensed Covid-19 hospitals and testing laboratori­es in the region to ensure their compliance and

The first time we visit an establishm­ent or a health facility and a violation has been observed, we immediatel­y issue a warning. If we would still have the same observatio­n during the follow-up monitoring, or the next time we visit them, we will already issue a Notice of Violation. MARIA BELENDA Q. AMBI DTI 11 Regional Director

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