There’s good news for local travelers! the Department of Tourism (DOT) recently announced that Filipinos can now avail the 50 percent subsidy for the RT-PCR test at the Philippine General Hospital.

/ 23 December 2020

Exploring places has a lot of benefits, it improves overall health and enhances social skills, but when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, traveling for leisure was temporarily banned to prevent the virus from spreading. 

When the Philippines allowed domestic travels once again, a lot of our kababayans could not wait to return to visit their hometowns or unwind as the lockdowns lasted longer than expected. 

In December, the Department of Tourism (DOT) announced that it has teamed up with the University of the Philippines Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) to subsidize 50 percent of the COVID-19 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test (RT-PCR) cost for qualified domestic tourists. 

This means that from the usual P1,800 payment, qualified Filipino tourists will only have to pay P900 for the swab test.

People who are qualified for the subsidy are Filipino residents and foreigners living in the Philippines who plan to travel for leisure in any local destination that is officially open to general tourists.  

However, the DOT said that the subsidy 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 also subject to evaluation and approval by the Tourism Promotions Board.

We have listed the DOT RT-PCR subsidy guidelines below: 


  1. Five (5) days before the intended travel date, the tourist must register online at and indicate a travel destination that is declared open to leisure tourists.


  1. Applicants must attach the following supporting documents:
  • -Copy of a valid government-issued ID
  • -Copy of confirmed hotel booking
  • -Copy of roundtrip transportation tickets if applicable (airline/bus/ferry tickets)


  1. The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) shall evaluate the documents and inform the tourist of the status of application within a reasonable time.


  1. UP-PGH can only accommodate 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) ( 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.


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), all individuals who are planning to travel amid the pandemic expose themselves to potential hazards in their chosen destinations.

“During travel, everyone should clean hands frequently, cough or sneeze into a bent elbow or tissue, and try to maintain a physical distance of at least one metre from others. Travelers should follow the recommendations of the travel authorities regarding policies in the airport and of the airline for the flight,” the WHO said in its advisory.