TOURISM Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat yesterday appealed for a price cap on the real-time Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) and Antigen tests for COVID-19 to make it more affordable to local tourists as the government intensifies efforts to revive the tourism industry.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) has relaxed travel restrictions in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ).
“The DOT supports the call to impose a price cap on RT-PCR and Antigen testing to make traveling an affordable option for all. While the DOT acknowledges and puts paramount importance on the safety of visitors, locals, and the tourism workforce, the Department likewise finds it imperative to address the urgent need to impose a price cap on these accepted COVID-19 testing methods to promote domestic tourism, which in turn can generate employment and stimulate economic recovery, ” said Puyat.
In a bid to attract more travelers to help bring back jobs and livelihood to tourism areas, Puyat has asked for cooperation among Department of Health (DOH)-accredited testing facilities to make the RT-PCR and Antigen tests more affordable.
“We likewise appeal to the accredited test centers to provide budget-friendly but credible COVID-19 diagnostic tests,” Puyat said.
The IATF-EID has authorized the DOT to take the helm in accrediting procedures, facilities, and activities, as well as set determining operating capacities for tourism establishments. This is with respect to the issuance of Resolution No. 79 on eased interzonal and intrazonal travel restrictions and prescribed minimum health standards amidst the public health challenges posed by COVID-19.