NAIA collects swab test payments from arriving int'l passengers who are not OFWs

Passengers from abroad, except Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), will now have to pay P4,500 for their COVID-19 swab tests upon arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

These passengers usually stay in government-designated hotels for three to five days waiting for the results of their COVID-19 tests, but this waiting time has been shortened to one to two days with the approval of the operation of private testing centers by the National Task Force on COVID-19.

NAIA Public Affairs Office head Consuelo Bungag said that the P4,500 payment for the COVID-Test for non-OFWs will enable them to shorten their stay in selected hotels provided by the Department of Tourism (DOT).

In the case of OFWs, they will be taken to a government designated quarantine facility while waiting for the test results.  The Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and PhilHealth will shoulder the cost of the RT-PCR Test.

If the test result is positive, the passenger will be picked up by the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) which shall assume jurisdiction in monitoring the patient. If the test result is negative, the BOQ will issue a certificate stating so.

Those who tested negative and have been issued a certificate may leave the hotel and go home to their residences.  The Department of Transportation is ready to help ferry these passengers to their homes.

Several returning residents, such as Rosalinda Dinampo who came from Saudi Arabia, were wary of the new regulation on swab testing and the payment of P4,500 for it, but relented when the procedure was explained to them.