DOT wants less travel requirements ahead of holidays

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 10) — The Department of Tourism is appealing to the government to further ease travel requirements to reduce costs for families who will go out of town during the holidays.

"I hope (there would be) less travel restrictions, so more Filipinos can finally enjoy this Christmas with the family nang hindi magastos for them (without spending too much)," Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat told CNN Philippines' The Source on Wednesday.

"Admittedly, ‘yung magastos talaga is the negative RT-PCR. Syempre, mas maganda na if they accept vaccination cards in lieu of RT-PCR, less gastos din ‘yun," Puyat said.

[Translation: Admittedly, the negative RT-PCR requirement is really costly. Of course, it would be better if they accept vaccination cards in lieu of RT-PCR, it would reduce the expenses.]

RELATED: LIST: LGUs ease COVID-19 testing requirements for travelers 

On Oct. 28, the DOT said negative COVID-19 test result is no longer required in Cebu province, Lapu-Lapu City, and Catbalogan City. Travelers going to Bohol, Iloilo City, and Negros Occidental can just present their vaccination certificates from VaxCertPH.

Travelers should also present vaccination cards when going to Baguio City, Clark Freeport Zone, Subic Bay Freeport Zone, Tarlac, Masbate, Southern Leyte, Tacloban City, Maasing City, Misamis Oriental, and Cebu City.

Authorities in Aklan still require a negative RT-PCR test result for tourists bound for Boracay except for fully vaccinated visitors from Panay Island and Guimaras.

Meanwhile, the DOT is coordinating with the Philippine Children's Medical Center to provide free swab tests for qualified travelers. The daily cap is 350 tests. Puyat said the DOT also plans to tap other groups to subsidize testing for tourists.