The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has resumed its Covid-19 virus swab tests after it received partial payment from PhilHealth (Philippine Health Insurance Corporation) last Tuesday.
PRC Chairman Senator Richard Gordon made revealed these developments in a recent online media briefing. “I have requested the Secretary-General (Elizabeth Zavalla) and all our laboratories in the entire country to open them to PhilHealth again and we are going to have testing tonight (Oct. 27) from the Manila International Airport first and tomorrow (Oct. 28) regular testing will be conducted in full,” he said.
PhilHealth remitted P500 million to PRC last Tuesday as partial payment for its P930-million debt to the Katter. Gordon, however, clarified that PhilHealth’s total debt to PRC has already reached PHP1.1 billion.
Gordon said all the new tests should henceforth “be paid within three days because I will no longer allow the debt to balloon that much. It’s frightening because if they don’t pay us, we will compelled to close down.” He explained.
He said PhilHealth had also communicated to PRC its desire to pay an advance payment of P100 million. He said he is amenable to that as long as the full balance is paid by PhilHealth.
Gordon suggested that PhiliHealth gives an advance payment of P100 million, and when they consume up to P70 million, leaving a balance of P30 million, they will have to top up again with PHP70 million. The amount, he added can serve as a revolving fund.
Before that revolving fund, however, Gordon said the rest of the P1.1 billion should be paid by PhilHealth first. The PRC has a total of 44 machines for the RT-PCR tests all over the country, 22 of them are in Metro Manila.
Gordon said he wants to bring the cost of the test down and hopes that the saliva testing will soon be approved, which can further bring down the cost of swab tests.