Filipino tourists can now apply for a 50% subsidised reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test, following a partnership between the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) and the Department of Tourism (DOT) through the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB). Half of the original cost of ₱1,800 at the public hospital will be shouldered by the TPB, slashing the testing fee to ₱900.
Since a negative COVID-19 test result is a crucial requirement for newly reopened destinations around the Philippines, this subsidy programme offers an affordable option for local travellers to gain entry to far-flung locations such as Palawan, Boracay, and Bohol.
Also read: COVID-19 Philippines Travel Advisory for Filipinos & Foreign Visitors
How to apply for the RT-PCR test subsidy
Five days before their intended travel date, tourists should register online and fill up this application form to qualify for the RT-PCR test subsidy. In this form, they will be required to list down a destination that is already open for leisure tourism.
Other requirements include a copy of a valid government-issued ID, proof of a confirmed booking with a DOT-accredited accommodation, and a copy of a transportation ticket for their chosen mode of travel (e.g. a round-trip flight ticket or a bus ticket).
Tourists whose applications have been approved will receive an email from UP-PGH and a notice of their swab test schedule. Take note, however, that the hospital will only administer 100 COVID-19 RT-PCR tests each day, so applications will be served on a first-come, first-serve basis.
According to TPB Chief Operating Officer Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, the current fund assistance will last until June 2021.
For more information, visit the Tourism Promotions Board‘s official website.