Some social media users urged other Filipinos to avail of the RT-PCR home service testing of the Philippine Red Cross and Angkas.
The PRC-Angkas COVID-19 home testing services had been operational since last March.
It was reshared by some Twitter users last week amid the demand for cheaper COVID-19 testing. This also comes amid the record COVID-19 infections in the country.
Last August 30, Twitter user @denibeans shared that the tests were administered by the Angkas riders and that they earned from this initiative.
“Tried the Angkas x Red Cross RT-PCR home service test today! the tests are administered by Angkas riders themselves and it really warmed my heart to hear how enthusiastic my rider was about this being another form of income and how they’re trained to collect saliva samples,” she wrote.
The online user also stated that the saliva test costs P2,300 only. This is more affordable than the ones being administered in other facilities.
Another user @Keisha_Geisha also posted on September 7 that she tried their home service testing that costs lower at P1,500.
She also attached a screenshot of the delivery company’s online platform via Dash Labs with the RT-PCR price tag.
— Keishalyn From Las Pinas 🏳️🌈 #CommutersNaman (@Keisha_Geisha) September 7, 2021
In the thread, the Twitter user further noted that the COVID-19 procedure with Angkas is only for RT-PCR saliva testing. It is only available in select areas in Metro Manila.
“Only in select Metro Manila cities! Also the lowered test price is for all PRC tests pala so you can avail in any of their sites. The home service adds P250 but still cheaper than the original price,” the Twitter user wrote.
“Honestly sana gawing mas-affordable pa ‘to. At this rate, we need to test MORE because we need to contain the rapid spread of the Delta variant,” the user added.
In the PRC-Angkas platform, it was stated that their home services are only available in the cities of San Juan, Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Pasay, Manila, and Mandaluyong.
Each saliva collection at home costs P250.
Overall, the prices for COVID-19 testing from PRC are:
- Swab test – P2,800 (formerly P3,800)
- Saliva test – P1,500 (formerly P2,000)
Those who want to avail of the Angkas Home Service COVID-19 test should follow these steps:
- Schedule an appointment via the platform first.
- Go to the location or comfortable area in the scheduled appointed time only.
- Bring the confirmation of schedule, which will be sent via email.
- Wear a face mask and shield.
- Arrive 15 minutes ahead of scheduled time for registration and queuing.
- Bring a valid ID and a pen.
- Official receipt will only be issued upon request. It will also not include payment gateway fees in the total amount.
The University of Santo Tomas Hospital also recently offered a drive-thru RT-PCR swab testing for only P2,500 from Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
This was in line with the institution’s 75th anniversary.
Clamor for cheaper, free COVID-19 testing
The Department of Health recently released a new circular for a price cap for the RT-PCR testing in private and public facilities.
Under the DOH circular 2021-0374, the new price cap is:
- Public laboratories: P2,800 for plate-based and P2,450 for GeneXpert
- Private laboratories: P3,360 for plate-based and P2,940 for GeneXpert
- Home Service: P1,000 for both plate-based and GeneXpert
While the circular is still accessible on DOH’s website, the health agency deleted its infographic of it on social media.
In the previous circular issued last year, prices of COVID-19 tests are pegged as follows:
- Private hospitals: P4,500 (reference) and P5,000 (cap)
- Public hospitals: P3,800 (reference) and P3,800 (cap)