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Itching to Travel? DOT is Extending Discounted RT-PCR Tests for Tourists

Due to public demand.
by Arianne Merez
Just now
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

The Department of Tourism on Monday said it would extend the 50% discount on RT-PCR tests for domestic tourists due to public demand following the resumption of leisure travel.

Tourism Sec. Bernadette Romulo Puyat said her department was eyeing an extension of the subsidy until December 2021 depending on the availability of funds for the program. 

"Naisipan namin i-extend ito para makamura at para makapag-bakasyon na ang ating mga kababayan," Puyat said in a public briefing.

"It depends also with the funds available," Puyat said.

Since the resumption of the subsidized RT-PCR testing in June, Puyat said over 40,000 applications for the program have been approved.

Qualified tourists can avail of discounted RT-PCR tests at partner hospitals University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) in Manila City and the Philippine Children's Medical Center (PCMC) in Quezon City.

The tourism department, according to Puyat, is also open to partnerships with other hospitals for the discounted RT-PCR testing initiative as long as the rates are competitive.

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It was only this June that the government allowed tourists of all ages in the NCR Bubble—Metro Manila, Bulacan, Laguna, Cavite, and Rizal —and areas under Modified General Community Quarantine or MGCQ to travel again provided that travelers below 18 and above 65 years old have a negative COVID-19 test result.

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