The Makati City government has made COVID-19 RT-PCR tests more affordable and accessible to private citizens as well as businesses and establishments operating in the city.
Mayor Abigail Binay announced this on Friday, saying the individual PCR Tests are priced at an affordable P2,950 in the city.
This swab test is priced between P4,500 and P8,500 in private clinics and hospitals in Metro Manila.
Binay explained the local government has partnered with public hospitals and private testing labs so that more residents can get tested for COVID-19 quickly. She said the results are also released faster so individuals who test positive can receive immediate medical treatment.
“I have always believed in mass testing as a way to prevent further transmission of the coronavirus. From the very start, Makati has looked for ways to bring COVID-19 tests to our employees and residents, especially the most vulnerable sectors of society,” she said.
Makati City is one of the first LGUs in Metro Manila to implement mass testing for the coronavirus. The city began testing front liners, employees, and members of the police force for coronavirus as early as April.
Swab samples were also collected and collated from some 6,000 public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and market vendors between September 2 and 8 as part of the pooled “mass testing” program under Project Ark. Makati was chosen as the pilot site for this scientific testing method.
“Now that we have more experience in mass testing, I am encouraging companies, businesses, establishments, and private individuals to take advantage of our offer. Just go online and book for a test, even if you don’t feel any symptoms or have not come in contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19,” Binay said.
Residents and companies can book for their RT-PCR tests privately by logging on to www.safemakati.com.
The city has also remained consistent in using RT-PCR testing — the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction test— which is considered by health experts as the “gold standard” in testing.
Mayor Binay said she is after the consistent accuracy of tests rather than speed and cheaper test kits.
On the other hand, companies and businesses with large workforces can continue securing the health and safety of their employees by signing up for pooled swab tests. This can be done regularly especially now that the majority of companies have asked their staff to resume working on-site.
The pooled PCR tests are run per group of at least 10 individuals. Prices start at P1,000 per person swabbed.
The results of the pilot pooled swab testing in Makati was shared with other LGUs and the private sector to optimize the availability of COVID-19 test kits and improve how communities handle testing and isolation.
Binay earlier stressed that Makati’s focus on mass testing and early detection of COVID-19 cases was borne out of her desire to improve processes and lighten the load of the city’s overburdened healthcare workers.