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President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of Health and the Department of Trade and Industry to impose a price ceiling on Covid-19 tests to ensure affordable and accessible testing in the country.

Executive Order (EO) No. 118, signed by Duterte on Wednesday, directed the two agencies to come up with an “equitable and sensitive” price range for Covid-19 tests.

The price cap to be set will be implemented on tests conducted by hospitals, laboratories and other health establishments and facilities.

The DOH will release the appropriate issuances directing accredited health facilities to observe the price range.

“Failure to comply therewith may be considered as a ground for the revocation of existing licenses or accreditation,” the EO read.

The DOH was also tasked to ensure the observance of transparency in testing prices and ensure the public is informed of the component costs in Covid-19-related medical services.

The government earlier called out firms using donated test kits and machines for overpricing Covid-19 tests.

Palace spokesman Harry Roque, amid the issue between the Philippine Red Cross and the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., said testing prices could be lowered to as low as P1,500.

The country has 388,137 Covid-19 cases as of Nov. 4. John Ezekiel J. Hirro