Though travel restrictions are gradually easing in some areas, many safety protocols are still in place aimed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For some tourist destinations, that means requiring a negative result of a COVID-19 RT-PCR test before your visit.
Luckily, it doesn’t have to be twice as hard or expensive as before. The Department of Tourism (DOT) announced on Dec. 15 that travelers residing in the Philippines may now get 50% discount of the P1,800 RT-PCR testing cost administered by the University of the Philippines - Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH).
Here’s how to apply for the discount:
- Fill out the application form on www.tpb.gov.ph/rtpcrphtravel and attach a copy of your government-issued ID and roundtrip transportation tickets (if applicable). Note that you must submit your form five days before your travel date and that your travel destination is open to leisure tourists.
- If your application is approved, you will receive an email from UP-PGH with your log-in credentials for the Client Investigation Form (CIF). Fill out the form on cif.pgh.gov.ph.
- Once the CIF has been submitted, UP-PGH will notify the tourist of the schedule for swab testing.
It’s best to submit your application as early as possible because UP-PGH will only conduct 100 RT-PCR tests per day.
The program was organized by DOT through the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) and in partnership with UP-PGH.
According to the Philippines News Agency, TPB seeks to "restore confidence" in safe travel and support the gradual reopening of specific domestic travel destinations, such as Palawan, Boracay, Bohol, Baguio, and Ilocos Norte.
Meanwhile, Tourism Secretary Romulo-Puyat hopes that the initiative will "break the barrier for domestic tourists to actually make plans, especially in this Christmas season.”
“Domestic tourism benefits a country in a number of ways. 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,” she added.
You can avail of the discount until June 2021.