The Department of Tourism (DOT) on Thursday welcomed the Philippine Red Cross’ (PRC) initiative to reduce the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing price to PHP3,300 as this could boost domestic travel despite the different quarantine measures in the country.

Several destinations have reopened in the Philippines but among the requirements for entry is a negative RT-PCR result. The PRC charges PHP4,000 per swab test.

“The DOT is grateful to the PRC under the leadership of Senator Richard J. Gordon for the initiative to reduce the Reverse Transcription -Polymerase Chain Reaction testing price to PHP3,300,” the DOT said in a statement.

Tourism chief Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said an accessible and cheaper RT-PCR test would bring a positive impact on the economy as it would encourage local travel and help restore livelihood to tourism areas.

“Greater access and affordability of the test will mean more Filipinos can return to their hometowns, undertake travel for leisure, business, health, education, or MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) and visit family and friends,” the DOT said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the DOT called on travelers to do their share of responsible and safe tourism by complying with health and safety protocols of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the local government units of chosen destinations. (PNA)