In preparation to my trip to Bicol region, I took the free COVID-19 RT-PCR test at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center located at Quezon Avenue, Corner Agham Road in Quezon City. This free swab test is part of the Department of Tourism/ Tourism Promotions Board (DOT/TBP)’s extensive efforts to promote the country as a safe tourism destination as well as to pave the way to a more robust recovery of the tourism industry.
To get the swab test schedule, what I did first was fill out the registration form for the free swab testing on the TBP Website.
How to fill out the FREE SWAB TEST registration form
Once you click the blue button in the middle, you will be redirected to the application form where you need to input necessary information about yourself and your travel.
So, you have to choose where your destination is and if you are fully or partially vaccinated or a minor or unvaccinated.
Depending on what you tick, the page tells you whether you need a swab test or not. For example, if I choose Bohol and I am fully vaccinated, the page will be like this:
If your destination requires the test, you will see a prompt like this and you need to scroll down further and fill out the fields:
You need to input your name, date of birth, age, mobile number, email address, if you are traveling with someone else, your purpose of travel… and then you need to upload images/ screenshots of these:
- Two valid IDs (any two (2) of the following government-issued IDs: Driver’s License, Passport, PRC License, PhilPost ID, UMID, SSS, Voter’s ID, TIN ID, PhilHealth ID, PWD ID, Senior Citizen ID. In the absence of the above, any of the following secondary IDs (police clearance, NBI clearance, Pag-ibig ID and the like; For Minors (1- 17 years old), any copy of the following: Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) Certificate of Birth, Passport or School ID.)
2. Roundtrip Transportation Ticket (Airline/Bus/Ferry)
3. Proof of Confirmed Hotel Booking
Remember to tick the terms and conditions radio button at the top of the page. Onve you are done, click submit and then you will see this if you’ve successfully filled out all the information required:
You have to wait for PCMC to respond to your application. Once approved, they will send you a CASE INVESTIGATION form that you will again fill out and bring to the swab testing facility.
Getting the actual swab test on your scheduled date at the Philippine Children’s Medical Center
Print out the 3-page CASE INVESTIGATION FORM and then fill them out using a black pen. Once done, bring the form with you to the swab testing facility (that’s to the Philippine Children’s Medical Center) on the date of your schedule.
Here are some photos to show you where to go. I cannot take photos inside because it is strictly prohibited to photograph or video record in the swab testing facility.
It’s easy to find the facility because it is just on the right side of the PCMC entrance.
As I mentioned earlier, you will submit the form at the waiting area. When it’s your turn, the staff will give you a small sticker with your name and birth date written on it. You have to confirm if the info is correct and then off you go to the actual swab testing area.
Just follow the yellow tarpaulin and you will get to the small nook where you’ll get your nasopharyngeal (nasal) and oropharyngeal (through the mouth) swab.
Does the COVID19 swab test hurt?
No it doesn’t. Just uncomfortable. But no need to worry because it’s super quick! The entire process took me just less than 20 minutes. I came to the facility at 12:45 PM, I finished at 1:09 PM lol!!! There were only two people ahead of me when I arrived. Like I said, it’s pretty fast. I think it took longer to buy a face shield and rip the inner plastics of the face shield at the PCMC entrance than the actual “swabbing”…
When can you get the swab test result?
The result will be sent directly by the PCMC COVID-19 Testing Laboratory to the applicant via email.
For tourists swabbed in the morning – results will be released on the next day between 4:00 and 6:00 pm.
For tourists swabbed in the afternoon – results will be released on the next day between 6:00 and 8:00 pm.
PCMC COVID-19 Testing Laboratory shall immediately inform the tourist of the invalid result due to specimen quality and undetermined mark.
Tourists are encouraged to follow up a SARS CoV2 RT-PCR result at PCMC COVID-19 Testing Laboratory through telephone number 02-85889900 local 426 between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.TBP website
Anyway, just a few reminders:
Reminders for your scheduled swab test
- Bring your face shield
- Do not take photos/ videos inside the testing facility
- Bring printed copy of the CASE INVESTIGATION form
- Bring a valid ID
- Do the online registration at least five (5) days before or earlier than the intended travel date. I think it is safe to do it a week ahead. REMEMBER the application is first-come, first-served basis.