Boracay biz owners appeal for antigen testing for tourists
KALIBO, Aklan, Oct. 12 (PIA) – Business owners and operators in Boracay Island appealed to the government to allow antigen testing as pre-entry requirement for tourists going to the island instead of the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test.
In a press briefing of Presidential Spokesperson Sec. Harry Roque held recently, Dr. Henry Chusuey, owner of Hennan Group of Resorts, conveyed the request of his fellow Boracay business operators to the government to impose cheaper and faster COVID-19 test for tourists, which the rapid antigen testing offers.
Many business owners lamented that many of their guests had already cancelled their bookings in the resort island due to the RT-PCR testing pre-entry requirement.
RT-PCRT testing, as complained by non-Aklanon residents/tourists, is very much expensive that could cost from P4,000 to P12,000.
“May request sana na kung pwede maging pilot antigen ang Boracay to make it easier for the tourists to come to Boracay,” Chusuey said during the press briefing, adding that the antigen testing be done at the airport.
He also said that one of the advantages of antigen testing is the determination of result which is very much faster than the RT-PCRT testing. The former could produce results in just around 15 to 30 minutes.
Chusuey noted that tourism in this time of pandemic is not essential; hence, putting too much hassle to tourists in visiting the island would defeat its purpose of opening, as most of them will just back-out in going to Boracay.
Sec. Roque acknowledged the concerns of the business sector in Boracay and empathized with the situation, noting the numerous cancellation of bookings, affecting the livelihood of Boracaynons, workers and business owners.
However, Roque appealed for patience and understanding to wait for the result of the ongoing pilot antigen testing as the government could not compromise the health of the people in Boracay.
So far, according to Roque, the initial result of the pilot testing is good, and once declaration will be made for its safe use for tourism purposes, no doubt that it will be used also in other tourism places such as Boracay Island. (LTP/SQP/PIA-Aklan)