PhilHealth spokesperson Rey Baleña said Friday that PhilHealth would only cover the COVID-19 test of tourism frontliners and not visiting tourists as the government allows more tourist destinations to open.
During a Laging Handa briefing, Baleña identified groups that are entitled to the PhilHealth-covered COVID-19 test.
“Yung mga frontliners sa mga tourist zones, sila po ay at-risk din kaya sila ay entitled din dito sa ating testing,” he said.
(Our frontliners in tourist zones are at risk, so they are entitled to our testing.)
DOH’s updated its memorandum 2020-0258, requiring tourism frontliners to be tested for the virus once a month.
However, the tourism official said the tourists would need to pay for their COVID-19 test.
“‘Yung mga turista, ‘yung mga traveller, mapa-domestic man o foreign origin, sila ay kakailanganin mag-test pero hindi po sila kasama sa PhilHealth coverage, at their own expense po ang kanilang pagpapatest,” he said.
(Tourists and travelers, whether of domestic or foreign origin, need to be testes, but they are not included in the PhilHealth coverage. The test is at their own expense.)
“All travelers, whether of domestic or foreign origin, may be tested at least once, at their own expense, before entry into any designated tourist zone,” the DOH guidelines said.
COVID-19 test of tourists not covered by PhilHealth
Baguio City is set to welcome up to 200 tourists daily starting September 22. Tagaytay City is now also opened for visitors.
The Baleña reiterated that PhilHealth also covers testing of those who were contact-traced.
“Kung kayo po, mga kababayan natin, kung isa kayo sa mga pinuntahan ng mga contact tracer, kabilang na po kayo agad dito sa mga at risk,” Baleña said.
(If you are one of those who are visited by the contact tracer, you are automatically included to those at risk.)
The DOH memorandum also categorized individuals with no symptoms but had a relevant history of travel and/or contact to an infected person as at-risk.
Health workers, returning FWS, locally stranded individuals (LSIs), other vulnerable patients, and economy workers are also included in the at-risk to COVID-19 group.