Screen grab from the Laging Handa briefing last June 28.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) has extended the 50 percent subsidy for the real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) tests of local tourists from July to Dec. 31.

Qualifications for subsidy include booking in DOT- accredited hotels, except for five star hotels, Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said in the “Laging Handa” government briefing on June 28.

“Naisip naming i-extend ito para makamura at makapagbakasyon na ang ating mga kababayan,” she said.

The cost of the RT-PCR test in the Philippine General Hospital is P 1,800 but with 50 percent subsidy, the tourist will pay P900.

At the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, RT-PCR test costs P 1,500. The cost is P 750 with the subsidy.

As of June 23, 43,351 RT-PCR test subsidy applications have been approved by the tourism department, Romulo-Puyat said. Hazel N. Camba