To further boost the domestic tourism recovery, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced that starting today, November 1, domestic tourists can have a swab test for free.
Through the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), the DOT rolled out a new phase of its financial subsidy.
"As travel restrictions continue to ease up, we aim to encourage more tourists to visit their destination of choice by providing a full subsidy on RT-PCR testing," Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said.
Under the subsidy, a total of 350 applicants per day will be granted free RT-PCR tests at the Philippine Children's Medical Center (PCMC) starting Monday.
Many of the country's destinations now accept fully vaccinated travelers without requiring the swab test. As a result, the free testing is only for domestic tourists whose destination still requires a negative RT-PCR test result or for staycation purposes.
The program is part of the Department's extensive efforts to market and promote the Philippines as a safe tourism destination and pave the way to a more robust tourism industry recovery.
"This program helps ensure the safety of tourists, tourism workers, and local stakeholders in various destinations," Puyat said.
Due to the high price of the swab test, many tourists canceled their travel plans. Because of this, the tourism industry's recovery was hindered, since before, several LGUs required a negative RT-PCR result as part of the health and safety protocols.
Domestic tourists wishing to avail themselves of the free testing at PCMC may visit https://www.tpb.gov.ph/rtpcrphtravel/ for application procedures and requirements. They may also visit https://app.philippines.travel/ to get the latest news and updates on travel requirements nationwide.