Isko Mayor Isko Moreno and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna assure that free RT-PCR tests will continue in Manila next year. Photo by JERRY S. TAN

Manila offers free RT-PCR tests till next year

December 3, 2021 Itchie G. Cabayan 208 views

THE RT-PCR tests or swab tests, which continue to be costly when taken in private clinics and hospitals, will remain free of charge next year, both to Manilans and non-Manilans alike.

Thus vowed Mayor Isko Moreno and Vice Mayor Honey Lacuna, who said that with the threat of Omicron and other possible mutations still around, there is a great need to continue providing the public with free swab tests, which is a basic step to address COVID-19 cases.

While acknowledging that the number of active, confirmed cases in Manila continue to decline steadily, Moreno said that COVID remains in our midst and thus there is still a need to observe minimum health protocols.

Moreno noted that the moment one is exposed to an infected person or feel any of the COVID symptoms, the first thing he does is undergo a swab test, noting that even before getting a job, the same is required.

“Those being required by employers to take a swab test at their own expense, wala na kayong gastos. Just go to our drive-thru center in Luneta or to our six hospitals to get it for free,” Moreno said.

The city of Manila, he says, is using the gold standard of testing which is very accurate and would cost several thousands if taken elsewhere.

In Manila, Moreno said the free RT-PCR testing may be availed of either in the city-run hospitals or at the drive-thru center at the Quirino Grandstand, simply by registering with the city government’s online portal.

He added: “Tulong na din namin ito sa mga negosyante para di na sila gumastos for their employees. Ipadala nyo sa amin at aming ite-test ang inyong mga kawani. Ito ang sukli sa ibinabayad ninyong buwis sa Maynila. Ang makamit ninyo ang ganitong serbisyo at maibsan ang gastos ng employees at negosyante.”

So far, over 175,000 individuals have been given free swab tests in Manila, which the mayor said may also be undertaken for mere peace of mind. The city of Manila had been conducting free RT-PCR tests for over a year now.

“Mananatili itong libre hanggang kaya. Wag kayong mag-atubili dahil meron kayong kaagapay na pamahalaan ng Maynila,” he assured.