Domestic travelers may avail free RT-PCR tests at PH Children’s Medical Center
MANILA, Philippines — Starting November 1, domestic travelers may now avail of free reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests in the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC), Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said on Monday.
The free RT-PCR swab tests will be subsidized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TBP).
“As travel restrictions continue to ease up, we aim to encourage more tourists to visit their destination of choice by providing a full subsidy on RT-PCR testing. This program helps ensure the safety of tourists, tourism workers, and local stakeholders in various destinations,” Puyat said in a statement.
Each day, only 350 applicants will be granted with the subsidy at the PCMC.
Travelers may apply for the test subsidy through the TPB’s website and must present documentation such as their DOT-accredited hotel and return ticket.
According to Puyat, travelers may avail the subsidy as much as they want since they are encouraging domestic tourism.
Currently, the free RT-PCR test is only available at the PCMC. Puyat said that the DOT is looking to partner with other government hospitals.
“Right now kasi, we’re tying up with Philippine Children’s Medical Center pero naghahanap kami ng iba’t ibang government hospital. ‘Yun din ang gagawin namin, babayaran na namin lahat para zero na. Menos gastos sa nagta-travel,” she said over Teleradyo.
(Right now kasi, we’re tying up with Philippine Children’s Medical Center but we’re looking for other government hospitals and we’ll do the same initiative to lessen the expenses.)
Prior to this development, RT-PCR tests at DOT-partner hospitals, Philippine General Hospital and the PCMC, cost P750.
Puyat noted that many travelers are burdened with the cost of the RT-PCR test; hence, they pushed for the 100-percent subsidy.
“Marami kasi gusto mag-travel pero namamahalan naman sila kahit na ‘yung P750 per person, napakamahal daw. So, that’s why we’ve decided to subsidize para libre na,” she said.
(Many want to travel but are burdened with the P750 per person test. So, that’s why we’ve decided to subsidize it to make it free.)
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