November 3, 2021

The Department of Transportation is offering free swab tests to domestic tourists.

Starting November 1, qualified domestic tourists can undergo a free swab test at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC), according to the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB).

The TPB said that the totally subsidized reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests would be implemented at the PCMC as part of its ongoing efforts to promote the country as a safe tourism destination and aid in the industry’s recovery.

“As travel restrictions loosen, we hope to encourage more tourists to visit their preferred place by fully subsidizing RT-PCR testing. This initiative assists in ensuring the safety of visitors, tourism employees, and local stakeholders in a variety of locations “Berna Romulo-Puyat, the Secretary of Tourism, stated.

In a separate announcement, the TPB stated that tourists who have already submitted an application do not need to do so again if their departure date is November 1 or later.

In December 2020, the agreement with PCMC was launched, covering half of the hospital’s PHP1,500 swab test.

With a daily ceiling of 350 approved applicants, the TPB estimates that the full subsidy may assist 12,000 more qualified tourists until the end of 2021.

More than 15,000 tourists took advantage of the discounted PHP750 swab test at PCMC between January and June 2021, saving them money compared to other laboratories that offer nose swab exams.

The TPB previously worked with the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital to subsidize half of the hospital’s swab testing, which accounted for 17,320 tourists between December 18, 2020 and July 7, 2021.

Tourists with complete documents are recommended to visit the TPB’s website for application procedures and prerequisites in order to take advantage of the free PCMC swab test.

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