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DOT SUPPORTS BAGUIO ANTIGEN TESTING – ROMULO-PUYAT

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat welcomes the adoption of antigen testing as a way of determining if visitors to Baguio City are free of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“Together with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Department of Health (DOH), and Baguio City, we support the piloting of the antigen testing so that Filipinos are encouraged to travel using a more affordable test with instant results,” Romulo-Puyat said.

“Antigen testing is allowed together with other COVID-19 testing methods to be used on domestic tourists and authorized and essential travelers.”

As stated in the Inter-Agency Task Force on Infectious Disease (IATF) Resolution No. 73, antigen testing is allowed together with other COVID-19 testing methods to be used on domestic tourists and authorized and essential travelers.

Baguio conducts the antigen test along with the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test (RT-PCR) for comparison.

The opening of tourism anticipates an increase in the number of leisure trips and commuter traffic within the region, and in the other parts of the country where COVID-19 cases have been declared low and controlled.

“We will never compromise the health and safety of our constituents and visitors.”

“The re-opening of tourism in Baguio City is a calibrated and deliberate move after consultations with the stakeholders, the community, and the health sector. We will never compromise the health and safety of our constituents and visitors. That is why we are working on the principle of safe, sure, and responsible travel,” said Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

Baguio City was chosen by the DOH for pilot use of the Rapid Antigen test for its model performance in contact tracing and containment of the COVID-19.

The test collects and uses swab samples to determine the current and active infection in the person just like the RT-PCR test, but results come in approximately 15 minutes.

Baguio results will help determine if antigen tests can be used as an official test or whether testing can be done in the earliest stages of infection.

“Faster and cheaper, antigen testing will benefit potential visitors of the city now that the Ridge and Reef Travel Corridor is in full swing,” the tourism chief stressed. 

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