DOT partners with PCMC for Covid-test subsidy

·2 min read

TO SPUR domestic tourism, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has partnered with the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) for a 50 percent testing cost subsidy.

From the original price of P1,500, the Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) test will be available at P750.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the P8.7 million financial subsidy program with the PCMC is poised to further encourage the traveling public to rediscover places that have been declared open and safe by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) and local government units.

Among the destinations are Manila, Boracay, Palawan, Cebu, Bohol, Baguio and Ilocos Norte.

This is also a strategic step in continuously marketing and promoting the country as a safe tourism destination, the DOT said in a statement.

Puyat said this is to further expand access to affordable RT-PCR test in time for New Year domestic travels, through the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines, as it inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with PCMC on Dec. 28, 2020.

“The rolling out of the subsidized RT-PCR tests for qualified domestic tourists is just one of the tourism promotions’ recovery strategies as part of our Safe Bangon Turismo campaign to support the Philippine tourism industry, which has been adversely affected by the ongoing pandemic,” Puyat said.

Partnership

On Dec. 15, the DOT and the TPB first signed a MOA with the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital to subsidize 50 percent of the hospital’s RT-PCR testing cost of P1,800 for about 11,000 qualified domestic tourists.

The partnership with PCMC is an added effort of the DOT and the TPB’s to expand the financial subsidy program for tourists, considering that the PCMC RT-PCR testing cost is P1,500 to benefit 11,600 domestic tourists.

To avail themselves of the PCMC’s 50 percent testing cost subsidy, travelers must first register online to pre-schedule their RT-PCR test at http://www.tpb.gov.ph/rtpcrphtravel and submit a valid government-issued identification card, proof of hotel booking in a DOT-accredited accommodation establishment and proof of mode of travel such as airline or bus ticket. The PCMC will accept RT-PCR test applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

Now that the country is gearing for its recovery by easing travel restrictions for domestic tourists, the IATF-EID has mandated tourists to submit a negative test result before departure and travel to their desired region to prevent the further spread of Covid-19. (JOB with PR)