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DOT mulls full subsidy of travelers’ swab tests

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star
DOT mulls full subsidy of travelersâ swab tests
“If things go as planned, we’ve been asking permission if we could subsidize everything, make it zero,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat told ANC yesterday.
Michael Varcas, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) wants to subsidize all charges and fees of COVID swab tests for local tourists.

“If things go as planned, we’ve been asking permission if we could subsidize everything, make it zero,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat told ANC yesterday.

The DOT, through the Tourism Promotions Board, offers RT-PCR (reverse transmission-polymerase chain reaction) or swab tests done at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) for travelers for only P750.

The amount is way below the usual cost of over P2,000 offered in other facilities. The DOT shoulders the remainder of the original costs.

Before availing themselves of the discounted swab test, tourists should submit confirmed booking details in establishments at their travel destinations, roundtrip airplane tickets and valid IDs five days before the scheduled trip.

Before the country started receiving the COVID vaccines, tourist destinations such as Baguio, Bohol and Boracay required negative RT-PCR test results from travelers.

Recently, these top tourist destinations scrapped the requirement as more people were fully vaccinated.

The provincial government of Aklan where Boracay is located said it would do away with the RT-PCR and swab test requirement once all of Boracay’s tourism workers complete their jabs by next month, Puyat said.

DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM SWAB TEST
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