Published on : Thursday, December 3, 2020
The Philippines is aiming towards subsidizing corona virus tests for tourists to improve its pandemic-battered tourism industry that’s gradually reopening for domestic travelers.
The Philippines government is thinking about shouldering as much as half the cost of Covid-19 swab tests for tourists, said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.
Travel vouchers for the subsidized tests from state-run Philippine General Hospital in Manila will be given to tourists.
“We want people to be able to travel, especially this Christmas season,” Ms. Romulo-Puyat said.
“The cost is prohibitive, but we cannot remove the requirement for testing before travel,” she added.
The tourism department is also considering setting uniform requirements for entering tourist destinations, said Ms. Romulo-Puyat said, since different travel protocols set by local governments are “confusing”.
The tourism sector contributed 12.7 per cent of the Philippines’ economic output last year.