PHILIPPINE AIRLINES (PAL) on Thursday said it would offer free reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests to arriving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their dependents.

PAL has also cut the cost of its RT-PCR services from P4,000 to P3,300 for departing passengers, PAL Spokesperson Cielo C. Villaluna said in a phone message to BusinessWorld.

“Our flights to Manila from Dubai, Dammam, Doha, and Riyadh covering the period Dec. 21 to 31 will be carrying home a significant number of our OFW kababayans who are reuniting with their families for Christmas. Hence, PAL management decided to give them this holiday privilege, the free RT-PCR testing on arrival,” Ms. Villaluna added.

She said test results are released within 24 hours.

In a news release, PAL said the 24-hour turnaround time for the RT-PCR tests “leads to a shorter quarantine isolation period of no more than one night, as compared to the two to five days averaged by other testing centers.”

PAL also noted that the Philippine government would continue to shoulder the quarantine hotel accommodations of arriving overseas Filipino workers.

“To avail, passengers on these flights must register to PAL’s electronic Case Investigation Form as early as three  days before departure at,” PAL said. — Arjay L. Balinbin