Delays in test results expected as PRC insists on full payment of P1 billion debt

Delays in the release of COVID test results for seafarers and other overseas Filipino workers are expected to continue after Philippine Red Cross (PRC) insisted on government’s full payment of the P930 million it owed to the organization

Philippine Red Cross logo | Photo source: FOTW Flags Of The World website at

PRC Chairman Sen. Richard Gordon said it would not resume the RT PCR testing of returning OFWs unless Philippine Health Insurance Corp. or PhilHealth pays fully its close to P1 billion debt to PRC.

Speaking at a gathering at Subic Freeport yesterday, Sen. Gordon also said that, in fact, the government’s financial obligations to PRC had ballooned to P1.1 billion after it conducted RT-PCR test to some 1.1 million Filipinos.

He said that the fully payment of PhilHealth’s debt would only be used to pay the test kits that PRC had used in the past months.

Earlier, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) Administrator Hans Leo Cacdac said that 17 national and local government laboratories, which took over the RT-PCR testing of OFWs, had committed a three-to-five day waiting period for the results, but apparently they could not fulfill their commitment.

To avert further delays in the release of test results, President Duterte assuredSen, Gordon  PRC that government would pay PRC of the its debt.  Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque later called on PRC to resume testing of OFWs after promising that PhilHealth would pay at least half of its financial obligations to PRC on Monday.

Sen. Gordon, however, is standing pat on its decision not to restart conducting RT-PCR test to arriving OFWs unless PhilHealth settles fully its obligations to PRC.

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