MANILA – Tourists can now apply for a PHP750 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC), the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced Monday.
During the signing of a memorandum agreement with PCMC, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the DOT, through the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), will earmark PHP8.7 million to finance the new subsidy program.
This cuts into half the PHP1,500 regular cost of RT-PCR test at PCMC for qualified locals or foreigners residing in the country as long as their purpose for travel is for tourism.
The program is on top of DOT and TPB’s PHP10 million allocation for a similar 50 percent RT-PCR subsidy at the Philippine General Hospital.
“The rolling out of the subsidized RT-PCR tests for qualified domestic tourists is just one of the tourism promotions’ recovery strategies as part of our Safe Bangon Turismo campaign to support the Philippine tourism industry which has been adversely affected by the ongoing pandemic,” Romulo-Puyat said.
The tourism chief is also optimistic that this initiative would further encourage the traveling public to rediscover places that have been declared open and safe by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and local government units.
Among these destinations are Manila, Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, Bohol, Baguio, and Ilocos Norte.
To avail of PCMC’s 50 percent testing cost subsidy, travelers must first register online to pre-schedule their RT-PCR test at http://www.tpb.gov.ph/rtpcrphtravel/” and submit a valid government-issued identification card, proof of hotel booking in a DOT-accredited accommodation establishment, and proof of mode of travel such as airline or bus ticket.
The TPB reminded the public that PCMC will accept RT-PCR test applications on a first-come first-served basis. (PNA)