swab testing in Manila
A man undergoes swab method for the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, or RT-PCR, testing to detect the 2019 coronavirus at a mass testing event in Manila on Oct. 6, 2020.
The STAR/Edd Gumban

DOT renews deal with PCMC for 2nd phase of subsidized COVID-19 tests for tourists

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - June 23, 2021 - 9:45pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism and its attached agency Tourism Promotion Boards are set to roll out the second phase of the RT-PCR test financial subsidy program for domestic tourists.

This, after the two agencies, renewed their agreement with the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) on Wednesday.

The first agreement was signed by the DOT and TPB with PCMC in December 2020 was set to expire this year. It aided more than 15,000 tourists from January to June this year.

In view of this, TPB Chief Operating Officer Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones and PCMC Executive Director Julius Lecciones signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in a virtual ceremony to implement the second phase of the RT-PCR subsidy.

The second phase, which still covers 50% of RT-PCR testing cost administered by the PCMC, would be rolled out from July to December 2021.

It is expected to benefit a total of 13,333 qualified domestic tourists.

Under this MOA, a qualified domestic visitor would only pay P750 of the P1,500 RT-PCR test cost.

To avail of PCMC’s 50% testing cost subsidy, travelers must first register online to pre-schedule their RT-PCR test at http://www.tpb.gov.ph/rtpcrphtravel/.

They are asked to 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. PCMC will accept RT-PCR test applications on a first-come, first-served basis.

The tourism agency last year partnered with PCMC and the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital to subsidize 50% of the hospital’s RT-PCR testing cost to encourage more domestic tourists to travel.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said this subsidy program of the DOT and TPB is just one of their strategic steps to market and promote the country as a safe tourism destination as the country gradually reopens tourism destinations.  

“We are pushing for these initiatives to help our economy recover and we are optimistic that more industry stakeholders, local government units and agencies will work hand-in-hand with us on this endeavor,” Puyat said.


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