DOT extends 50% subsidy for COVID-19 tests of travelers
To boost domestic tourism amid the pandemic, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has extended the grant of a 50-percent subsidy to pay for RT-PCR tests required of those visiting local travel and leisure destinations in the country.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat said the decision was made after the government’s pandemic task force allowed tourists from Metro Manila and nearby provinces, including minors and senior citizens, to travel to destinations in areas under modified general community quarantine.
“We thought about extending it so that our fellow countrymen can save money and can go on vacation already,” Puyat said.
As of June 23, Puyat said the DOT’s Tourism Promotions Board had approved 43,351 applications for the subsidy.
She, however, said that only travelers booked with DOT-accredited facilities are eligible for the subsidy.
The subsidies can be availed by travelers in RT-PCR test centers in the Philippine Children’s Medical Center in Quezon City and Philippine General Hospital in Manila, where the subsidized test costs only P750 and P900, respectively.
With the ongoing slump in international travel, Puyat said the DOT was relying on domestic tourism to kick off the country’s tourism industry. INQ
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