MANILA, PHILIPPINES — AirAsia is strongly supporting the Philippine Red Cross’ (PRC) recent appeal to immediately approve the public use of the saliva reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR test.
This cheaper version of the RT-PCR test only costs P2,000 as compared to the standard rate of P3,500 for a nasopharyngeal swab.
To date, only the Province of Bohol and Capiz are allowing the use of saliva RT-PCR for tourists. Aklan province and the cities of Bacolod and Davao meanwhile allow the saliva test for arriving residents only.
AirAsia Spokesperson Steve Dailisan said, “The approval of saliva RT-PCR test will surely allow more tourists to afford domestic travel. The uniformed RT-PCR test is among the top concerns of our kababayans when it comes to travel funds, second to airline ticket and hotel rooms. Since saliva RT-PCR is also as accurate as the nasopharyngeal RT-PCR test, we see this as a cheaper alternative for our tourist who plans on visiting their favorite tourist destinations this summer.”
The PRC research team earlier noted that the saliva RT-PCR test is 98.23 percent accurate compared with the RT-PCR swab test. Given the go signal, AirAsia believes PRC’s 13 molecular laboratories throughout the country will be able to accommodate the number of applicants.
“Backed with strict safety and health protocols by different LGUs, airports and tourist destinations, and the ongoing campaigns of the Department of Tourism (DOT), we expect the number of tourists to go up in the months of April and May. We, at AirAsia, have been very supportive of the government in promoting tourism while keeping to the strictest health protocols. AirAsia’s newest campaign, “Tara with AirAsia” is expected to entice local travelers to REDiscover their favorite destinations”, Dailisan added.
AirAsia recently earned a perfect 7-star rating from Airlineratings.com for going above and beyond the protection of its passengers against COVID-19.