MANILA - The Department of Tourism has signed a deal with the Philippine General Hospital to subsidize the COVID-19 swab tests of qualified tourists, the agency said on Tuesday.
The DOT said it will subsidize 50 percent of the P1,800 cost of RT-PCR testing cost administered by the PGH.
A negative RT-PCR test result is a requirement to visit many destinations around the country.
About 11,000 qualified domestic tourists will be able to get their RT-PCR test from the PGH, the DOT said.
The program is meant to restore confidence in safe travel and support the gradual reopening of specific domestic travel destinations, the DOT said.
In a virtual contract signing held on Tuesday, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the DOT and the Tourism Promotions Board are working with stakeholders to speed up the reopening of tourist destinations that have put in place safety and health protocols.
“I encourage our kababayans to book their travels now, and hope that this initiative will break the barrier for our domestic tourists to actually make plans, especially in this Christmas season,” Puyat said.
To avail of the 50 percent subsidy, the tourist must register at https://www.tpb.gov.ph/rtpcrphtravel/ five days before the scheduled departure date, and submit a copy of a valid government-issued ID, a copy of a confirmed accommodation booking and proof of transportation ticket for the appropriate mode of travel.
"Tourists with approved applications will receive an email from UP-PGH to access the online Client Investigation Form: https://cif.pgh.gov.ph and be notified of their swab test schedule.
The DOT said that as UP-PGH can only accommodate to conduct 100 RT-PCR tests per day, applications will be attended to on a first-come, first-served basis.
Puyat said the swab test subsidy project has a budget of P9.99 million is aligned with TPB’s Safe Bangon Turismo campaign and is expected to stimulate domestic travel to destinations declared safe by the IATF and DOT such as Palawan, Boracay, Bohol, Baguio, and Ilocos Norte.