TPB subsidizes COVID test for tourists visiting Baguio

Published March 26, 2021, 5:39 PM

by Zaldy Comanda

BAGUIO CITY – The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) of the Department of Tourism (DOT) is subsidizing COVID-19 tests for tourists visiting the Summer Capital beginning April 5, enabling the city to charge only P350 for their test on a first come first serve basis.

The TPB made the move to entice visitors despite the re-imposition of the stricter border controls requiring people entering this city to present their negative COVID-19 test results.

Last March 19, the city issued entry protocols for travelers requiring them to present negative RT-PCR, antigen test, or saliva test result conducted within 72 hours prior to entry to Baguio or have themselves tested at the Central Triage-Baguio Convention Center for P500 for tourists and non-residents and P350 for residents.

Supervising City Tourism Operations Officer Engr. Aloysius Mapalo said some 12,000 visitors are expected to benefit from the subsidized antigen test that will be rolled out by the city to help in gradually, safely, surely, and responsibly opening the local tourism industry.

Mapalo said the city government was able to get a subsidy amounting to P1.8 million from the TPB courtesy of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat for the aggressive marketing and promotion of the local tourism industry that was heavily impacted by the prevailing pandemic.

He said the subsidy will be applied to visitors who opt to have their antigen test be conducted in the city’s central triage prior to their entry to the city after having registered in the city’s online registration platform following the submission of the required documents and the issuance of their QR-coded tourist pass.

“The subsidy will be implemented for as long as the funds are available or until such time that the projected number of recipients shall have been reached based on the data from the VISITA online registration platform.”