How to Avail of the RT-PCR Test for PhP900 only for Domestic Tourists

Good news to all domestic travelers! Filipino tourists can now avail of the RT-PCR test at UP-PGH for PhP900 only! If your next local travel requires a swab test, read further on how you can avail of the cheaper COVID-19 RT-PCR test.

Traveling in the new normal. Arrival at the Bohol-Panglao International Airport from Manila.

In partnership with the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), the Department of Tourism (DOT) through the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines will subsidize 50% of the COVID-19 RT-PCR test cost for qualified domestic tourists. From PhP1,800, qualified Filipino tourists will only pay PhP900 for the swab test.

GUIDELINES AND HOW TO APPLY:

1. Five (5) days before the intended travel date, the tourist must register online at https://www.tpb.gov.ph/rtpcrphtravel/ and indicate a travel destination that is declared open to leisure tourists.

2. Applicants must attach the following supporting documents:
  • Copy of two (2) valid government-issued IDs
  • Copy of confirmed hotel booking
  • Copy of round-trip transportation tickets if applicable (airline/bus/ferry tickets)
3. The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) shall evaluate the documents and inform the tourist of the status of application within a reasonable time.

4. UP-PGH can only accommodate to conduct 100 COVID-19 RT-PCR tests per day. Thus, applications will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Approved applications will receive an email from UP-PGH with the log-in credentials for the Client Investigation Form (CIF) (https://cif.pgh.gov.ph) for the tourist to fill up properly and completely.
  • Once the CIF has been submitted, UP-PGH will notify the tourist of the schedule for swab testing. Only those who have submitted the CIF online and who have received confirmation of swab test schedule will be accommodated. Walk-in requests shall be strictly denied.
  • Tourists with approved applications must be at the testing center of UP-PGH on their confirmed date of swab testing.
  • Failure to show up on the scheduled date would forfeit the 50% COVID19 RT-PCR subsidy.
  • UP-PGH shall send the COVID19 RT-PCR test result directly to the tourist via email within 24 hours.

This program aims to restore confidence in safe travel and support local tourism as more and more tourist destinations in the country have started to reopen. Tourist destinations that are now welcoming leisure tourists include Boracay, El Nido, Baguio, Coron, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Siargao and Bohol. If you're planning to travel to Bohol, click here to read my Bohol travel guide.

Despite the easing of travel restrictions, the hefty cost of getting an RT-PCR test as part of the travel requirements in the "new normal" discourages most Filipino tourists from traveling. Thanks to DOT, covering half of the cost will make the RT-PCR test accessible to more travelers and attract more people to travel. Take note that the subsidy is available for 11,000 domestic tourists only, which means it's available while it last.

It was previously announced that the UP-PGH, also in partnership with DOT through TPB, has been offering the RT-PCR test for P1,800 only or less than half of what most testing laboratory centers are charging for Boracay-bound tourists.

The subsidy project, which is part of TPB’s Safe Bangon Turismo campaign, will not only benefit the Filipino tourists who are eager to travel with their family and friends after several months of staying at home due to the community quarantine but, most importantly, the tourism sector which has been heavily impacted by the pandemic.

Commonly asked questions about the subsidized RT-PCR testing:

1. Is there an age limit/restriction of who can avail the test?

The subsidized RT-PCR testing is open to leisure travelers of all ages. However, make sure to check for any age restriction in the local destination you intend to visit.

2. Who can apply for the subsidized RT-PCR test?

All Filipino residents who plan to travel for leisure in any local destination that is officially open to general tourists. This does NOT apply to locally stranded individuals (LSIs), individuals who plan to return to their home province, business travelers, government employees with business purpose, etc. All applications are subject to evaluation and approval by the Tourism Promotions Board.

Foreigners living in the Philippines who are residents, with work, long term, student, or other valid visas may avail of the subsidy as long as the purpose of domestic travel is for tourism. 

3. When will the swab test result be available?

The RT-PCR test result will be sent via email within 24 hours. Most local destinations, such as Boracay and Bohol, require that the swab test with negative result be taken within 72 hours or 3 days before departure date. Depending on your destination, make sure that your swab test result is valid on your travel date.

4. Can I avail of the PhP900 swab test if my purpose is not for leisure travel?

The subsidized RT-PCR test of PhP900 is only for individuals whose purpose for the swab test is for domestic leisure travel. However, if your purpose for the RT-PCR testing is not for domestic leisure travel (such as requirement for an international trip, LSI, work-related purposes, etc.), you can still avail of the swab test at PGH for PhP1,800 which is still cheaper than most testing centers. It's even free of charge for senior citizens and PWD. Just send an email to opswab.uppgh@up.edu.ph with your full name, birthday, purpose and preferred date for swabbing.

 

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