DOT to resume free RT-PCR tests for local tourist on Jan. 28
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) will resume offering free COVID-19 RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) tests for local tourists starting Jan. 28, an official said Wednesday.
The DOT has temporarily suspended its financial subsidy providing free RT-PCR tests for local tourists as its partner laboratories have stopped accepting samples because of employees getting infected with COVID-19, Tourism Undersecretary Woodrow Maquiling Jr. explained.
“They stopped processing all ‘yung mga endorsements for free RT-PCR test kasi medyo na-infect din sila and ‘yung mga encoders nila and ‘yung personnel nila kinailangan din mag-isolate muna at mag-quarantine,” he said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
(They stopped processing our endorsements for free RT-PCR testing because their personnel got infected and they had to undergo isolation and quarantine.)
“But we will resume this [program] by Jan. 28 for the start of the travel ng mga turista on Jan. 31 and onwards,” Maquiling added.
(We will resume this on Jan. 28 for the start of tourists’ travel on Jan. 31 onwards.)
However, the DOT will resume offering free swab tests for local tourists again next week.
“Hopefully gagaling ‘yung mga tauhan natin sa partner establishments natin and hopefully we can go back to our testing already para sa libreng RT-PCR test,” he said.
(Hopefully, their personnel will soon recover and we can go back to our free testing.)
Under the DOT’s program, 350 applicants a day will be given free RT-PCR tests at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC).
The program is part of the department’s efforts to market and promote the country as a safe tourism destination and pave the way for a more robust recovery of the tourism industry.
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