Back in January, the Department of Health (DOH) allowed the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to conduct saliva testing for COVID-19, thus making saliva testing in Metro Manila
available. Compared to the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) screening or swab testing, saliva testing is more affordable and comfortable for the patients. Swab test prices in Metro Manila
range from PhP3,800 to PhP5,000; on the other hand, COVID-19 saliva testing in Metro Manila
and other parts of the nation only cost PhP2,000.
Unlike swab testing that requires sterile swabs to be inserted through patients’ nostrils, a saliva test only requires patients to spit into a sterile vial. When it comes to accuracy, this COVID-19 testing alternative also provides a high accuracy rate at 98.23 percent according to research conducted by PRC. The results are also delivered faster than a traditional swab test result. Saliva-based testing is used in countries like Japan, Taiwan, United States, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
Where to get tested?
As of writing, saliva testing can only be availed in health facilities accredited by the PRC. Saliva testing is available at PRC’s Mandaluyong City headquarters and molecular laboratory in Manila’s Port Area. To avail of the service, individuals must book an appointment through PRC’s official website. Upon booking, patients must also answer and submit an e-CIF (Case Investigation Forms). Patients have the option to pay via Grabpay and Gcash via PayMongo.
Aside from PRC’s headquarters, PRC also opened other saliva testing facilities all over Metro Manila. Patients who live in the northern side of the Metro can go to the pop-up drive thru saliva testing site in Araneta City. The drive-thru site is located along the Araneta City bus port in front of Ali Mall along General Romulo Avenue. The testing site is operational from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM until August 2021. Patients are required to book an appointment via PRC’s website.
Upon arrival at the testing site, patients are required to fill out an information sheet and must present their proof of payment and confirmation email. The retrieval code, valid IDs, and information sheet must be presented at the encoder’s booth. The encoder will provide a barcode and instruct the patient to go to the sample retrieval area.
In addition to these, PRC also opened saliva testing centers in some of the major malls in Metro Manila. Patients can now head to SM SuperMalls, Robinsons Malls, and Ayala Malls to have a saliva test. All malls require bookings via PRC’s website prior to the testing.
For SM SuperMalls, patients can go to either SM Megamall and SM Mall of Asia from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. For Ayala Malls, patients can go to Ayala Malls Circuits and Market! Market!. Meanwhile, Robinsons Malls have COVID-19 saliva testing sites at the following branches:
• Robinsons Antipolo
• Robinsons Otis
• Robinsons Metro East
• Robinsons Novaliches
• Robinsons Malabon
Before having a saliva test, patients are advised to avoid drinking, eating, chewing gum, smoking, flossing, and brushing their teeth an hour before the appointment. It is also recommended for patients to gargle or rinse their mouth to get rid of discoloration or small pieces of food at least an hour before testing.
With fake saliva test kits popping up online and in malls, the public is warned to visit only accredited spots for both saliva and swab testing in Metro Manila.
To avail these health services, make sure to book an appointment first and follow instructions once you’re on the site.
Looking for places where you can get a swab test near Metro Manila? Go to Yoorekka
to see that and other health news!
All details and information in this article are true and accurate as of the publication date. While we are doing our utmost effort to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the condition surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be unpredictable and the situation develops rapidly, so it’s possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since this article was published. For the latest advice, visit DOH and your LGU's official websites.