How to Avail the Discounted RT-PCR Swab Test (Subsidised by DOT)?

Are you planning to travel locally soon and looking for discounted RT-PCR Swab test? Then, great news because the DOT through Tourism Promotions Board partnered with UP-PGH and PCMC to subsidise 50% of the cost of RT-PCR Swab test. The program aims to help restoring the confidence in safe travel and to revive the tourism industry in the country. This was a big help for us when were looking for a testing center to have our RT-PCR Swab test as one of the requirements for our trip because most of the private facilities charge between Php3,500 to Php10,00 for swab test.

Discounted RT-PCR Swab test in UP-PGH

How to apply for the discounted RT-PCR Swab Test?

The discounted RT-PCR Swab test is open to all Filipinos and foreigners residing in the the Philippines who will travel for leisure in specific destinations in the country. One of which is Boracay where my family and I were going. To facilitate the arrangement of swab testing, we followed the guidelines indicated in the DOT website. Here’s how we applied:

RT-PCR Swab Test Subsidy by DOT

  1. Register online at at least 5 days before the intended travel date.
  2. Choose RT-PCR Testing facility provider. The choices are UP-PGH and PCMC. We chose UP-PGH.
  3. Fill up the form with your personal details, travel destination and dates, and purpose of travel.
  4. Attach the following supporting documents:
    • Two valid government-issued identification cards
    • Roundtrip transportation ticket
    • Proof of confirmed booking with DOT accredited accommodation.
  5. Submit the form.
  6. The DOT Tourism Promotions Board will evaluate the documents and inform the tourist of the status of application on next email.
  7. When the application is approved, the DOT Tourism Promotions Board will forward the application to UP-PGH. Since we sent our application two weeks before our intended travel, the DOT Tourism Promotions Board informed us that they will forward our application to UP-PGH 5 days before our scheduled departure.
  8. UP-PGH can only accommodate to conduct 100 COVID-19 RT-PCR tests per day. Thus, applications will be on a first-come, first-served basis. This is also why we sent our application early.
  9. 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. We received this email from UP-PGH 3 days before our flight.
  10. Once the CIF has been submitted, UP-PGH will notify the tourist of the schedule for swab testing. We were scheduled for swab testing the next day. 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.
  11.  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.

Steps on how to get swab test in UP-PGH

The original price of RT-PCR Swab Test in UP-PGH is Php1,800 per test per person. With the help of DOT Tourism Promotions Board, the discounted RT-PCR Swab Test is now Php900 per test per person.

RT-PCR Swab Test in UP-PGH

Our scheduled swab testing in UP-PGH was 11:00am. My brother and I arrived 10 minutes early in UP-PGH. The swab testing center is located in the pay parking area near Nurses Home and OPD Building. There are signs so it’s actually easy to locate. When we arrived at the testing center, there were already people but was quite surprised that the number of persons were limited and very organised. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Go to the Registration Window and present a valid ID.
  2. Pay at the cashier and claim your swabbing kit. Kindly prepare an exact amount for payment.
  3. Proceed to the Swabbing Booth.

It took only 10 minutes for us to finish from registration to swabbing. When we were done, we went home and just waited for our result to be sent in our email. It was a bit agonising waiting for our RT-PCR swab test result but after 20 hours, we were able to get our negative result! After receiving the email, my family and I then processed the other requirements needed for our trip.

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