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DOT looks into negative COVID-19 test results for sale
A health worker at Rosario Maclang Bautista General Hospital prepares to take a swab of a resident of Batasan Hills in Quezon City on July 13, 2020.
The STAR/Michael Varcas

DOT looks into negative COVID-19 test results for sale

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - March 25, 2021 - 8:34pm

MANILA, Philippines —The Department of Tourism on Thursday confirmed that it has received reports of unscrupulous individuals who are selling falsified negative COVID-19 test results for travel requirements.

Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. said the agency has launched a probe into this new scheme. 

Most tourist destinations still require a negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test before entry to a tourist destination.

“Napakadelikado po nito dahil nilalagay natin sa panganib yung mga lugar na pupuntahan natin. So, ito po ay ineembestigahan na namin,” he said during the Laging Handa press briefing.

(This is very dangerous as you also place those in the tourist destinations under danger. We are now investigating this)

Some tourists investigated for forging their travel documents have already paid the price for their violations, Benito said.

The tourism official called on the public to stop faking COVID-19 test results as this practice may endanger the local destinations and its host communities.

He added that there are programs such as the 50% subsidy from the DOT and its attached agency Tourism Promotions Board. This seeks to boost domestic tourism by shouldering half of the COVID-19 swab test fee of qualified tourists.

The DOT and TPB partnered with Philippine General Hospital and Philippine Children’s Hospital for this initiative.

The TPB has suspended the processing and endorsement of the applications for this subsidy program for now amid the implementation of the stricter general community quarantine.

On Monday, PGH said it received reports of falsified or fake negative results using the hospital’s SARS-CoV-2 Reverse Transcription PCR Report forms.

It warned the public against this scheme and also asked them to have their test results verified by its office.

“We wish to inform everyone to avoid dealing with unscrupulous individuals and be wary of suspicious-looking RT-PCR reports,” PGH said.

COVID-19 DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM NEW NORMAL NOVEL CORONAVIRUS PHILIPPINE GENERAL HOSPITAL TOURISM PROMOTIONS BOARD
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