Philippine Red Cross Saliva RT-PCR Test Experience

As per the AirAsia Newsroom, last January 25, 2021, the Department of Health (DOH) in the Philippines approved the Saliva testing RT-PCR for COVID-19 after they did a successful pilot testing with by the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) yielded 98.11% accuracy. And the good news is that it can be used for travel purposes to boost air travel demand. Airlines like Air Asia and Philippine Airlines welcomed the approval of the said Covid-19 testing.

Please note that as of this moment, this isn’t applicable for travels because inter-island travels has been suspended as NCR plus has been placed in Enhanced Community Quarantine until April 11, 2021.

What is a Saliva RT-PCR Test? According to the Philippine Red Cross, the saliva RT-PCR test uses the same system that is used with the nasopharyngeal swab samples. Instead of having to insert a swab into the person’s nostrils and/or throat, the person will have to deposit 1.5 to 2 ml worth of saliva through a straw into a container. It is more comfortable to do, no painful feeling after. It is more cheaper as it is only P2,000, it is just 10 minutes to do and it takes less time for the results to be released, around 6-12 hours only.
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For now, the only allowed venue to get a saliva RT-PCR test is at any Philippine Red Cross saliva collection sites. There are around 70 available sites at the moment. You can book at the Philippine Red Cross website and pay via credit/debut card (Visa), G-Cash and GrabPay. If you are looking for the SM Megamall COVID-19 Saliva Test (RT-PCR), just click it to make things easier for you.
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Reminders:
Saliva RT-PCR test can’t be used for outgoing international travel. With regards to domestic travel, you will have to check first with the destination, and mode of transportation (sea/air). For air travel, Bohol and Boracay accepts NEGATIVE saliva RT-PCR test results.
Some sites accepts walk in but some accepts drive-thru only. SM Megamall Saliva Collection Site accepts drive-thru only as noted in the website, but we just walked in, as we only rode a Grab going to SM Megamall.
Bring your confirmation of schedule that contains your order details. It was sent to your email. No need to print. Please make sure that you know your Order Number, Appointment Number and Retrieval Code.
Read the reminders of the said saliva collection site, because there are difference in each site.
Prior to taking the saliva test, do not eat, drink, gargle, smoke or vape for 30 minutes. Do not wear lipstick to the test as well. Make sure that it is at least 1ml and has no discoloration.

Why are were we taking the saliva RT-PCR test? We were scheduled for a saliva RT-PCR test on April 1, 2021. But due to the new ECQ restrictions, our travel that was supposedly on April 3, 2021 was cancelled.

Your trip was cancelled, did they allow you to get refund?
They actually allowed refund. But because of the influx of entries, they begun to uphold their “no refund” policy. We were advised to reschedule our testing date to when we will  be able to utilize it.

How did we request refund and then, request for reschedule? We sent an email to 1158-appointments@redcross.org.ph and they responded to me within 3 hours. After which, a new order confirmation was sent to my email. Note that you are only allowed to reschedule once.

Did Coco take the test as well? We also included Coco when we booked an appointment because it is what the LGU that we were supposed to go to require. Prior to the restart of ECQ in March 29, 2021, the resort were we were staying to told me that kids below 5 years old, no longer need a swab test. But the day before the test, we opted not to have him do the test anymore, since he will not come with us.

We decided to utilize our saliva RT-PCR last April 6, 2021 because we will go to our province, Lipa, Batangas for my sister’s civil wedding. As I’ve mentioned above, their e-mail support is very responsive and we were able to reschedule without any problems.

What did you do with Coco’s slot, since he didn’t use it anymore? Instead of booking another slot for my brother, I tried to email them again to ask if the slot is transferrable. I explained that the supposed slot is for a child and if it is possible for my brother to use it instead. I was able to transfer the slot to my brother within the day (which is actually the day before the test). As usual, their email support was very responsive.

Sharing with you the experience:

When we arrived the bus bay of SM Megamall Mega A, at the first station, we asked first if it is possible for us to do the test without being inside a vehicle. They said we can as there are seats provided. We gave them our order details and they had us fill up an information sheet and was given the saliva test apparatus. Don’t lose the sticker (your control number).
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When we were ready we then proceeded to the second station where we were instructed on how to use the saliva test apparatus. When we were ready we started depositing our saliva to the tube. It should be so easy, but in reality, it is still hard. Some can’t really spit out 2ml saliva in one go, in our case. It took me 5 times before I was good to go. My mom even longer, but my brother did it in one go.
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I received the e-mail of the result 12 hours after and of course, I was negative. And because of that I am confident that my son and husband is safe as well. I think it is wise to have yourself tested if able for your and your family’s sake and peace of mind.
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Overall, Philippine Red Cross team is very efficient for me. Starting from how they handle the customer service,  up until the saliva test itself. Good Job PRC Team!

12 comments

  1. Wow, that’s a great news, pain free covid testing at The RedCross. I never had this test before that’s why I am curious about it’s validity compared to the nasopharyngeal swab. Is it really effective…?I think 2000 is worth the test. I hope they can provide us with more specific test with less probability of producing false positive or vice versa results

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  2. The Philippines needs more options and make it FREE FOR ALL. Para lahat ma-encourage na magpa-test agad. Dito sa Australia, our health ministry published various campaigns and yes including social media campaigns in many languages to reach more audiences and send clear messages about COVID vaccinations and COVID tests.

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    • It’s my first time to learn about Saliva test and it’s good to know that these can be alternatives for swab test in a cheaper yet not so hurtful way like swab.
      I hope the results are indeed accuate though. Keep safe! 🙂

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  3. We were also considering this for our trip to siargao this april, but yeah that was cancelled. I hope that saliva test was just as accurate because the swab test really hurt. I can still feel the pain now. Haha

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  4. Pain-free test is better lalo na for kids. I remember when I had my SWAB test as one of the requirements upon giving birth. And good to know na mabilis mag respond ang Customer Service nila.

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  5. Im glad to know you had a good experience with them overall. Never had the chance to experience this but thanks for sharing. Learned new things!

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  6. Bute nlang nakita koto blog nato super helpful lalo na OC ako, jusko, mali pa ang middle name while registering, sana d maging issue

    Like

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