The local government unit (LGU) of Aklan–the gateway province to the world-famous Boracay Island–is now accepting negative results from cheaper, saliva-based Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests as a valid travel requirement.

This was learned from a public advisory of Malay, Aklan LGU, which it posted Wednesday, March 10 on its Facebook page.

“Please be informed that as per March 10, 2021 Advisory of the Provincial Government of Aklan, saliva-based RT-PCR is accepted as a requirement for travelers entering the Province of Aklan,” the advisory read.

However, it specified that Boracay–the province’s main draw–would still impose “separate requirements” on would-be visitors.

“Saliva-based RT-PCR is accepted for travelers bound for mainland Malay. As per Executive Order No.005 of the Provincial Government of Aklan, separate requirements shall still be implemented for local tourists bound for Boracay Island,” it added.

RT-PCR tests remain the most reliable form of testing when it comes to determining coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection.

The cost of a saliva RT-PCR test, which has a turnaround time of three to four hours, is pegged at P2,000.

This makes it more affordable than the “swab” type RT-PCR test, which is P3,500 a pop.

Last March 2, the Malay LGU enumerated these requirements for local tourists who want to go to Boracay: a negative RT-PCR test result taken 72 hours before travel, hotel confirmation from a Department of Tourism (DOT)-accredited accommodation establishment issued with a Certificate of Authority to Operate (CAO), a valid ID showing proof of residence in an area under general community quarantine (GCQ) or modified GCQ; and a completed online health declaration form from https://www.