A top official from the Department of Tourism claimed that a private laboratory at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport is offering returning Filipinos as much as P10,000 for faster Covid-19 test results.
A few days ago, Senator Richard Gordon said that some laboratories are offering returning Filipinos as much as P20,000. He also suspected that some officers may be earning ‘commissions’ from this.
DOTr Raul del Rosario, who heads the One-Sto-Shop for Management of Returning Overseas Filipinos, clarified that the collection has already been stopped.
He identified the laboratory as the Philippine Airport Diagnostic (PAD) Laboratory.
“Totoo po yung nag-offer po siya ng P7,000 para sa 24 hours [na turnaround time] at P10,000 para sa 12 hours. Pero antinampo pp noong nalaman ito ng One-Stop-Shop, pinatigil natin yan,” he said during an interview with Dobol B in News TV.
The regular price for swab test in private laboratories is P4,000 with a turnaround time of 24 hours.
Del Rosario also clarified that the Covid-19 test for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) is free.
However, some OFWs preferred faster results due to emergency situations like a death in the family of they have connecting flights, so they opt to get tested in private laboratories which give results faster.
“Kapag nagpa-swab po sila sa private at binigyan ng permission ng Overseas Workers Welfare Administration at Bureau of Quarantine, magbabayad sila pero mas mabilis ang swab test result nila pero kaunti lang ho ang difference,” he added.