MABALACAT CITY— As some holiday destinations heighten their border surveillance and travel requirements amid the pandemic, the city government under the leadership of Mayor Crisostomo Garbo is now offering Reverse Transcription – Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing for commuters and travelers coming from the Mabalacat City Bus Terminal (MCBT).

“Marami pong mga destinasyon, lalo na ngayong holiday season, ang nag-rerequire ng vaccination cards, travel registration sa online portals, at monitoring ng mga sintomas bago makapasok sa kanilang mga kabayanan. Ang iba naman po ay negative RT-PCR o Antigen test results ang nagiging basehan,” said Mayor Garbo.

Upon the mayor’s instruction, a dedicated medical clinic has been situated inside the Mabalacat City Bus Terminal to assist commuters in their travel requirements particularly in the issuance of RT-PCR and Antigen Tests.

The initiative was lauded by MCBT officer-in-charge Elmer Lopez during the Tatak MCG: Mabalacat City Government radio program aired over GVFm 99.1 and GVAM 792 on November 29, 2021.

“According to Lopez, the Antigen test in the MCBT clinic is priced at P350 while RT-PCR test costs P2,000 (exclusively for Victory Liner passengers only). The cost of RT-PCR offered by the LGU is significantly lower compared to the maximum price cap of P3,360 in private laboratories and P2,800 in public laboratories based on the DOH-DTI Joint Administrative Order 1 which took effect last September 6, 2021.”

Prior to their scheduled travel, commuters may avail of the city’s low-cost COVID-19 testing services which have a result turnover of less than 48 hours.

“Ang lokasyon po natin ay stopover at nali-link sa iba’t-ibang mga destinasyon. Marami po ang nagpupunta rito at nagta-transfer ng masasakyan. Dahil ganito po ang mga travel operations sa ngayon, iba-iba rin po ang mga health and travel restrictions sa mga destinasyon,” said Lopez.

“Dito sa Mabalacat, para maka-comply ang mga commuters na manggagaling dito, naglagay tayo ng isang clinic for RTPCR and Antigen Testing facilities sa loob mismo ng ating bus terminal. Ang mga [presyo] sa clinic na ito ay talagang mababa, affordable ito na laan para sa mga commuters para di sila gaanong mahirapan,” the bus terminal OIC added.

At present, the MCBT operates at 20% capacity and not all routes are being serviced by the terminal as compared to its pre-pandemic operations.

The terminal administration in cooperation with the Mabalacat City Traffic Enforcement Group (MCTEG) assures swift, smooth, and safe travel for every passenger through an orderly implementation of government-mandated minimum public health standards.

Furthermore, Lopez reminded the public that face masks and face shields are still required to be worn inside the buses. The accomplishment of contact tracing forms, checking of body temperature, and observance of physical distancing inside every bus is being strictly implemented, he added.

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