Government aims to attract COVID-19 test kit manufacturers to invest in the Philippines

The government is recruiting companies producing test kits for COVID-19 to put up manufacturing facilities in the Philippines, a trade official said.

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said this supports the national government’s momentum for increasing the country’s testing capacity for the disease.

“There are possible investors for test kits that will enter here, and investors in general for manufacturing,” he said in Filipino during an online briefing with trade reporters late last week.

Further adding that the government was focused on attracting investors for both polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing facilities and rapid test kit makers to locate in the country.

It is likely that at minimum, one company will invest in the Philippines this year, however for a PCR testing facility, it is a bit more complex, the official said.

“I am sure, if it is rapid test kits, we can have an investor here for rapid test kits,” Rodolfo said in Filipino. “I think, we can get at least one rapid test kit manufacturer.”

Currently, test kit makers for COVID-19 are operating facilities in China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States.

“The rapid test kit from South Korea is three times more expensive than those from China. So we are saying if you will do that in the Philippines you may further reduce your price and be more competitive than China,” he said.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to South Korean interest, Taiwanese company making vaccines have shown to invest in the Philippines.

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