Leisure travel has now become stricter, with guidelines being regularly released by local government units for those planning to visit.
Some require a negative antigen test, but most prefer a certification that arriving tourists have gone through the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test—the gold standard for testing.
While Cebu Pacific has recently implemented a "test before boarding" scheme for reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) at P3,300, the Department of Tourism announced that Filipinos and foreigners residing in the Philippines who want to travel locally can get a 50% subsidy for the RT-PCR test at the Philippine General Hospital.
However, only 100 qualified domestic tourists per day can be accommodated. The regular price of the RT-PCR test at the state hospital is at P1,800.
Everything you need to know about the DOT's subsidy for RT-PCR testing for Filipinos:
Who are qualified for the 50% subsidy?
Foreigners residing in the Philippines (residents, with work, long term, student, or other valid visas)
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What documents do I need to submit?
Copy of two valid government-issued IDs (driver’s license, passport, PRC license, PhilPost ID, UMID, SSS, Voter’s ID, TIN ID, PhilHealth ID, and Senior Citizen ID)
Copy of confirmed hotel booking at a Department of Tourism-accredited accommodation
Copy of roundtrip transportation tickets, if applicable
What are the steps?
Register five days before departure at www.tpb.gov.ph/rtpcrphtravel.
Wait for an e-mail about your log-in credentials.
Log-in and fill out the Client Investigation Form.
Wait for your swab test schedule.
The result will be e-mailed to you directly within 24 hours after the test.
The subsidy program with a P10-million budget from the Tourism Promotions Board was formalized in an agreement with the Philippine General Hospital. This runs until June 2021.
Main image taken on September 2 at Makati Coliseum, used for illustrative purposes only.