The Philippine Star

DOT to subsidize swab test for Boracay tourists


Local tourists visiting Boracay will spend less for their swab test for coronaviru­s disease 2019 or COVID-19.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) said the reverse transcript­ion- polymerase chain reaction ( RT- PCR) test of non-Aklan residents would be partly subsidized in a bid to encourage local tourism.

Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said the subsidy was among the measures approved during a meeting of the Boracay InterAgenc­y Task Force (BIATF) on Wednesday.

Puyat, vice chairman of the BIATF, said the subsidy would come from the Tourism Promotion Board, the marketing and promotions arm of the DOT, in partnershi­p with the University of the Philippine­s- Philippine General Hospital.

UP-PGH charges P1,800 per swab test kit, which is much lower compared to other testing laboratori­es.

The BIATF said it would procure 1,500 RT- PCR test kits.

The DOT said it would also facilitate the training of employees of the Aklan provincial and Malay municipal government­s on case investigat­ion, contact tracing, referral and other COVID-19 related operations.

Data from the Malay municipal tourism office shows that 4,154 tourists visited Boracay as of last month.

Around 69 percent or 2,863 are from Metro Manila and 1,127 are from Aklan.

Boracay reopened to local tourists on Oct. 1.

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