Health Secretary Francisco Duque III on Wednesday said the government had set a price range for RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) Covid-19 tests following President Rodrigo Duterte’s order.

Duque said such tests in public hospitals and laboratories should be priced at P3,800.

Private facilities, meanwhile, can charge P4,500 to P5,000 per test.

Duque said those who would charge more than the price ceiling would have their licenses to operate suspended for first and second offenses.

A third offense will warrant a revocation of a hospital or laboratory’s license to operate.

“Hindi maganda na nagkaroon ka nga ng range tapos itotodo nila sa allowable ceiling… Pwedeng bumaba sila sa ating ating price ceiling pero huwag silang lalampas doon,” Duque said.

Executive Order (EO) No. 118, signed by Duterte on Nov. 4, directed the Department of Health and the Department of Trade and Industry to come up with an “equitable and sensitive” price range for Covid-19 tests.

The price caps can be subject to change. John Ezekiel J. Hirro