MANILA — Philippine Red Cross Chairman Sen. Richard Gordon said Sunday he would push for the use of COVID-19 saliva tests in the provinces.
During his appearance on Vice President Leni Robredo's radio show, Gordon, who is running for another Senate term in this year's elections, said he preferred saliva tests over the widely used antigen tests.
"Ang advise ko sa Department of Health (DOH), 'Mas maigi na gamitin ninyo ang saliva test,'" said Gordon, who is part of Robredo's senatorial slate.
(I advised the Department of Health, 'It's better that you use saliva tests.')
Robredo, who is seeking the presidency, was not present in the program.
"Ang problema sa antigen... 'pag nag-positive ka, mayroon false positive, kung minsan nagfa-false negative," Gordon explained.
(The problem with antigen tests... if you're positive, you can be a false positive. Sometimes there's also a false negative.)
"Kaya mabuti na 'yong RT-PCR pero... mas mura 'di hamak ang saliva test. 'Yan ang itutulak ko sa mga probinsiya," he added.
(That's why RT-PCR tests are better but... saliva tests are undoubtedly cheaper. That's will I will push for in the provinces.)
The DOH has allowed the PRC to conduct saliva testing, which is priced at around P2,000 compared to RT-PCR tests that cost between P3,000 to P5,000.
Gordon believes testing will help curb the spread of COVID-19 especially amid the detection of the highly transmissible omicron variant.
He added that the Red Cross was also beefing up its isolation facilities.