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Senator wants free Covid-19 tests for all

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Senator Panfilo Lacson on Monday said he will push for a free Covid-19 testing program as it should be a part of the public services offered by the government, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

He also urged the national government to engage the private sector and local government units to roll out free tests that will help manage the surge in positive cases.

“The testing should really be made free, of course, especially to the ordinary employees. If some people have the wherewithal to pay for it, by all means, let them pay. But to those who we know would rather spend money on other things, the daily wage earners, let’s offer it for free," he said in a statement.

The presidential aspirant is currently in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19 last week. Prior to the confirmation of his result on Friday, he said all his symptoms were gone.

Lacson said his office has gathered concerns from the general public over the price of undergoing a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.

“The price range for testing is quite expensive. The swab test costs around PHP3,700 when conducted in a private setting. If you fall in line, of course, you get a much cheaper rate. But we know not all of our countrymen have extra money to pay for it," he stated.

“Let’s involve our local government units again and even the private sector because the private sector is willing to help in this program," Lacson said.

He likewise reiterated his appeal to all diagnostic testing centers and laboratories conducting and processing Covid-19 tests to keep their clients informed and updated about the status and results of their samples.

He said it would prevent the unnecessary stress of waiting for their results, like what happened to him and his wife.

They were promised a 12-hour processing time after their home service RT-PCR test but they waited for two days instead.


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