DOT offers free RT-PCR test for local tourists

Maris Federez   •   November 1, 2021   •   474

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) through its Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) on Sunday announced its offering of a free reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for qualified domestic tourists.

In an advisory, the TPB said that the fully-subsidized RT-PCR test for local tourists is in partnership with the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC).

“We encourage you to also check with the airline company you will be flying with and the hotels/resorts you will be staying at on their protocols for the resumption of leisure travel,” the advisory said.

The 100% subsidy will also be applicable to those whose departure date is November 1 onwards.

Information on the application procedures and requirements is available via

Those who want to check and verify requirements and protocols for tourists in various destinations may also visit

For any queries, please contact the TPB PCMC Team through the email address: or the TPB Official Facebook page. —/mbmf

PNP chief tests positive for COVID-19

Maris Federez   •   January 4, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday confirmed that PNP chief PGen. Dionardo Carlos has tested positive for COVID-19.

In a statement released to the media, the PNP said that Carlos is suspected to have acquired the Omicron variant.

“Last Sunday evening, 02Jan22, I subjected my close-in security, staff, and myself to RT-PCR (Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) tests due to reports of fever and chills experienced by my White House personnel,” Carlos said in a statement.

“Unfortunately, I too, tested positive including my duty driver and aide who were with me in the van Sunday morning,” he added.

Carlos said he also experienced fever, chills, and body sweats Sunday evening. He, however, said only his lower back pain remained come Monday.

As of Tuesday, Carlos confirmed that his temperature and other vital signs are normal. —/mbmf

116 OCD staff test positive for COVID-19

Maris Federez   •   August 26, 2021


MANILA, Philippines — National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council spokesperson Mark Timbal announced Thursday that some members of the Office of Civil Defense have tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In a statement, Timbal said the OCD Central Office will be temporarily closed to undergo disinfection until 30 August 2021 but its services will continue via online channels with the staff on a work-from-home scheme.

The 24/7 NDRRMC Operations Center, on the other hand, will continue to provide regular DRRM monitoring and coordination services, Timbal said.

“Salamat po at tuloy pa rin ang aming paglilingkod sa bayan,” he added.

Timbal said that from the total count of 380 employees, 218 have undergone the scheduled reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test on Tuesday (August 24).

As of 7 PM on Thursday, a total of 116 civil defense staff tested positive for COVID19. Of which, 80% are asymptomatic.

Timbal said that the affected OCD employees were immediately transferred to a quarantine facility upon confirmation of the results.

Timbal further said that as of this reporting, he is yet to receive information on the result of NDRRMC Executive Director, Usec. Ricardo Jalad’s RT-PCR test.

“We still have 85 people (including me) whose results are still to be issued. As of 7 pm tonight, we have confirmed 17 people who tested negative. Sana maidagdag ako sa 17 na yun,” he said. —/mbmf

RT-PCR negative test still required to enter, exit Davao City

Maris Federez   •   July 14, 2021

The city government of Davao has announced that fully vaccinated passengers arriving at the Davao International Airport will still be required to present negative results of the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Initially, the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force) said that vaccination cards will be used and then after two days I think they said that they will leave it to the local government units (LGUs). So we are still requiring RT-PCR testing,” Mayor Sara Duterte has earlier said.

“Even if an individual is fully vaccinated, it is still not a guarantee that they are free from COVID-19. It is still possible for an individual to be a carrier of the virus,” Mayor Sara noted.

Outbound passengers, on the other hand, will not be allowed to leave the airport without showing a negative RT-PCR test result.

This is part of the city’s continued enforcement of the Test before Travel Ordinance.

The Davao chief executive stated that through the said policy, entry of various variants of Covid-19 into the city will be prevented.

The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has earlier approved IATF Resolution No. 124-B which allows vaccination cards to be used as alternative passes to any testing requirements before travel or upon arrival at LGU of destination. —/mbmf


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