The reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test financial subsidy program for domestic tourists has been extended until December 2021.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) renewed their partnership with the Philippine Children's Medical Center (PCMC).
In a virtual ceremony, TPB Chief Operating Officer Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones and PCMC Executive Director Julius A. Lecciones signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on Wednesday.
The financial subsidy program cuts into half the PHP1,500 regular cost of the RT-PCR test at PCMC. It will run from July to December 2021 to aid 13,333 qualified domestic tourists.
The DOT and TPB first signed an agreement with PCMC in December 2020 to subsidize 50 percent of the hospital's RT-PCR testing cost, wherein more than 15,000 domestic tourists were successfully swabbed from January to June 2021.
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said that the DOT and TPB would continue to extend efforts as part of their strategic plans to market and promote the country as a safe tourism destination.
"This program is just one of the strategic steps that DOT and TPB are working on as we gear towards recovery and pave the way to safe and gradual reopening of tourism destinations. We are pushing for these initiatives to help our economy recover, and we are optimistic that more industry stakeholders, local government units, and agencies will work hand-in-hand with us on this endeavor," Puyat added.
To avail of the PCMC's 50 percent testing cost subsidy, travelers must first register online to pre-schedule their RT-PCR test at http://www.tpb.gov.ph/rtpcrphtravel/ and submit a valid government-issued identification card, proof of hotel booking in a DOT-accredited accommodation establishment, and proof of mode of travel such as airline or bus ticket.
PCMC will accept RT-PCR test applications on a first-come, first-served basis.