The long weekends of 2021 have been announced and a number of local travel destinations are opening their doors to tourists in an effort to jump start the industry. If you are one of those considering a visit to one of the country's beautiful beaches or mountains, and you've started researching on the different requirements of each locale, you'll know that a medical certificate showing that you are negative for Covid-19 is at the top of the list.
Well, we're here to give you and your wallet some good news. Local tourists can now avail of an RT-PCR test at half the price, the Department of Tourism said today, Monday, as a way to further support the travel and tourism industry in 2021.
Tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that the original price of P1,500 for a swab test at the Philippine Children's Medical Center has been slashed to P750. "It is my pleasure to announce today that we are expanding this RT-PCR testing subsidy program for our tourists. Through this partnership, DOT [Department of Tourism] further lowers the cost of the RT-PCR test," Puyat said.
The partnership deal was signed by the DOT, PCMC, and the Tourism Promotions Board. A total of P8.7 million will be used from special contingency fund to subsidize the 50% of the cost of the RT-PCR testing. This will benefit 11,600 domestic tourists, she said.
Last month, authorities set the price of RT-PCR tests from P3,800 to P5,000. Sec. Puyat said many Filipinos want to travel, but the steep prices of COVID testing hinder them from booking a local vacation. With this partnership, she hopes more people would travel.
The partnership will be in effect until June 2021, TBP chief operating officer Maria Anthonette C. Velasco-Allones said. To avail of the of the discount, tourists must present a valid ID, proof of accommodation in a DOT-accredited establishment, and booking for transportation.
According to PCMC medical director Dr. Julius Lecciones, results for the RT-PCR test will be available within 24 hours.
This story originally appeared on Reportr.world.
* Minor edits have been made by the Preview.ph editors.