MANILA - The Department of Tourism has partnered with another government hospital to offer discounted swab tests for people who want to travel to areas where negative RT-PCR test results are required.
The DOT Tourism Promotions Board said travelers can get their swab tests at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) in Diliman, Quezon City for the discounted rate of P750.
The state-owned hospital is already offering special rates for the tests at P1,500.
At the virtual launch of the partnership, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she hopes the initiative with PCMC will help bring down the testing barrier and help people regain the confidence to travel again.
"After such a tough year, we look forward to better days when we can revisit friends and family, have a respite in the places which we consider as our sanctuaries, and rediscover the rich heritage of our diverse cultures across the country," she added.
The program is aimed at reinvigorating local tourism places that have been declared open and safe by the Inter-Agency Task Force Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) and local government units.
Among these destinations are Manila, Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, Bohol, Baguio, and Ilocos Norte.
This also expands the agencies' partnership with the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) of subsidize 50 percent of the hospital’s RT-PCR testing cost of P1,800 for about 11,000 qualified domestic tourists.
"Just before Christmas, we formalized a partnership with the UP-PGH to subsidize the cost of RT-PCR testing administered at UP-PGH. This initiative was positively received, and I note that as of December 26, 2020, we have processed 1,569 applications, 965 of which have been approved, while 150 are undergoing validation, and the rest did not meet our eligibility requirements," Puyat shared.
To avail of PCMC’s 50 percent testing cost subsidy, travelers must first register online to pre-schedule their RT-PCR test 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.
PCMC will accept RT-PCR test applications on a first-come, first-served basis.
Filipinos and even foreigners who reside in the Philippines can apply for the subsidized tests.
Applications should also be made five days prior to the travel booking date to boost chances that these will be approved.
The DOT has set aside P8.7 million for the PCMC swab tests.