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Traveling locally? Here's how you can avail free RT-PCR tests

By AYIE LICSI Published Nov 01, 2021 5:25 pm

Planning to travel locally anytime soon? Domestic travelers can now get free confirmatory swab tests starting Nov. 1 at the Philippine Children's Medical Center (PCMC).

To avail of the free reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests, you must first register online at the Tourism Promotions Board's (TPB) website at least five days before your planned travel date. The site only accepts 350 registrations per travel date and once it reaches the limit, it will automatically close. Multiple registrations are discouraged.

Needed documents

Next, applicants must provide complete supporting documents to finish registration. They must attach a copy of any two government-issued IDs (Driver’s License, Passport, PRC License, PhilPost ID, UMID, SSS, Voter’s ID, TIN ID, PhilHealth ID, PWD ID, Senior Citizen ID) or secondary IDs (police clearance, NBI clearance, Pag-ibig ID) in the absence of any of those above.

For minors, a copy of the following will do: Philippine Statistics Office (PSA) Birth Certificate, Passport, or School ID.

Other required documents include:

  • Copy of confirmed accommodation booking with a Department of Tourism (DOT)-accredited establishment
  • Copy of roundtrip transportation tickets (air tickets, ferry tickets, bus tickets)
  • For private vehicles - a copy of Official Receipt/Certificate of Registration (OR/CR) and photo of your vehicle with plate number

The TPB will then evaluate the documents and inform you about your application status five days prior to travel, at most. Once approved, you will receive an email from the PCMC COVID-19 Testing Laboratory with your swab schedule and a copy of the Client Investigation Form (CIF) to be filled out electronically.

The testing lab will not accept walk-ins and will send results the next day via email.

The free RT-PCR tests will be subsidized by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the TPB. The TPB said on Saturday, Oct. 30 that it will benefit 12,000 qualified tourists until the end of 2021.