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LIST: Qualfication guidelines for RT-PCR test subsidy of DOT-TPB and UP-PGH

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com
LIST: Qualfication guidelines for RT-PCR test subsidy of DOT-TPB and UP-PGH
In a television interview with ANC, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the DOT is planning to tie up with the University of the Philippines- Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) for lower RT-PCR cost for tourists.
Edd Gumban, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism, through its attached marketing and promotions agency, Tourism Promotions Board on Tuesday signed a memorandum of agreement with the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital to subsidize the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) swab test for qualified domestic tourists.

The agency will shoulder 50% of the P1,800 RT-PCR testing cost administered by the PGH while the remaining P900 will be shouldered by the tourist. This partnership was forged in a bid to restore confident, safe travel and to support the gradual reopening of some domestic travel destinations.

The RT-PCR subsidy will aid around 11,000 domestic tourists in getting the required RT-PCR test.

The DOT has repeatedly announced that it is implementing a “test before travel policy” to ensure the safety of communities in tourist destinations that have reopened.

To avail of the RT-PCR test subsidy, tourists are advised to schedule swab-testing ahead.

Here are the guidelines to facilitate the arrangement of the pre-scheduled swab testing, according to TPB:

1. Five (5) days before the intended travel date, the tourist must register online at https://www.tpb.gov.ph/rtpcrphtravel/ and indicate a travel destination that is declared open to leisure tourists.

2. Applicants must attach the following supporting documents:

2.1. Copy of a valid government-issued ID

2.2. Copy of confirmed hotel booking

2.3. Copy of roundtrip transportation tickets if applicable (airline/bus/ferry tickets)

3. The TPB shall evaluate the documents and inform the tourist of the status of application within a reasonable time.

4. UP-PGH can only accommodate to conduct 100 COVID-19 RT-PCR tests per day. Thus, applications will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

4.1. Approved applications will receive an email from UP-PGH with the log-in credentials for the Client Investigation Form (CIF) for the tourist to fill up properly and completely.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said any tourist at any age can avail of the subsidy. She explained that the age will only come to play depending on the requirement of the local government unit of the tourist destination.

Boracay and Palawan have earlier announced that there is no age restriction to visitors.

TPB Chief Operating Officer Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones said that the subsidy will only be administered in PGH in Manila. However, she explained that the agency is eyeing to also consider tests in areas outside the National Capital Region to address the reverse traffic of tourists.

Allones also stressed that only tourists are covered by the subsidy.

“Titignan lang po namin na turista po yung maga-avail. Hindi po ‘yung mga gusto lang umuwi, ‘yung ibang mga byahe —mga magwo-workcation, hindi po ‘yun covered,” she said during the virtual press conference.

(We will verify if the applicant is really a tourist, not those who just wish to go home to their province, other travels—like workcation, that’s not covered)

She added that families and group can be scheduled together.

Meanwhile, the TPB also earlier shouldered the subsidy for the antigen test required to those who will visit Baguio City.

The city adopted the antigen testing as a way to determine if the visitors are COVID-19-free.

Baguio Mayor Benjamin Magalong only mandates tourists aged 18 above to take the antigen test.

Allones said Baguio City visitors range to 1,000 daily on weekends.

Puyat earlier sought for a price cap on the RT-PCR swab confirmatory test and antigen tests for COVID-19 to boost the reopening of tourism.

On Tuesday, she said that domestic tourism benefits the country in several ways with the jobs it generates as well as entrepreneurial activities that help the economy recover.

“It brings immense opportunities for all, particularly generating jobs and creating entrepreneurial activities to help our economy recover, apart from enabling us to rediscover our pride of place and culture when we visit our diverse sites and enjoy the re- calibrated products offered by our destinations,” Puyat said.

“I encourage our kababayans to book their travels now, and hope that this initiative will break the barrier for our domestic tourists to actually make plans, especially in this Christmas season,” she added.

BERNADETTE ROMULO-PUYAT COVID-19 DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM NEW NORMAL NOVEL CORONAVIRUS PHILIPPINE TOURISM TOURISM PROMOTIONS BOARD
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