Cebu to Dumaguete (Negros) in September 2021: Travel Requirements

cebu to dumaguete

How do you travel from Cebu City to Dumaguete—in times of 2021, pandemic and all that craziness? What requirements have to be met? Are the ferries from Cebu to Negros Oriental even still going? And when you get there, do Silvanas still exist? And how do you travel back to Cebu? We’ll share some info about that in this article. A bit of good news upfront: Yes, Dumaguete still has Silvanas!

Update: Siliman University Medical Center (SUMC) is probably also licensed to issue COVID tests by DOH. It’s not entirely clear because it’s listed as offering “Cartridge – Based PCR“ tests but …in Region 7, Cebu(??).

In short

Here’s the super quick answer to your questions. If you need more details, find them below.

Cebu to Dumaguete

  • Apply for a Travel Coordination Permit (TCP) on S-PASS (a gov app)
    • What requirements do you need for that?
  • not yet fully vaccinated + 14 days?
    • Gov ID
    • RT PCR Swab Test (within 72h) — best if negative 😉
  • fully vaccinated + 14 days have passed?
    • Gov ID
    • vax certificate
    • Antigen test (within 48h)
  • ferry Cebu to Dumaguete
    • Maayo Shipping RoRo ferry service operates between Bato, Cebu, and Tampi, Negros Oriental
    • Note: No service between Liloan Santander, Cebu, and Sibulan, Negros Oriental
    • the Coast Guard wants to see the QR code of the TCP at the port

From Dumaguete back to Cebu

  • No TCP / S-PASS needed
  • You do need an Antigen test or RT-PCR test result, depending on your vaccination status (and vax cert and ID obviously)
    • Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH) is the only DOH accredited lab as of Sep 2021—costs P3,200 and takes 30-36h
  • ferry Dumaguete to Cebu
    • as above, use Maayo from Tampi

Travel requirements and the S-PASS Gov app

So, what do you need to travel from Cebu to Duma—and how do you know? Another piece of good news: You can find the official travel requirements online—using the S-PASS app.

https://s-pass.ph/

In S-PASS you can do two things: learn about requirements and apply for a travel permit thing.

First, you can learn all you need to know about travel requirements by searching for the location you want to go to and then looking at the details on that page.

For example, here is the page link to Dumaguete travel requirements and a screenshot of it (Sep 25, 2021). Note that in October they’ll roll out a new version, so this might look a bit different soon.

Second, you can apply for a Travel Coordination Permit (TCP). You’ll need to upload your government ID, COVID-19 test results, and other documents. (For example, a document by your employer that you must travel for work if your origin or destination is under ECQ.) If you have all documents ready, it’s done within minutes.

Fun fact, literally: “Spass“ means “fun“ in German. And since Filipinos are famous for tongue-in-cheek wordplays and abbreviations, so that must have been intentional, right? 😉

Getting Antigen/ RT-PCR Tests in Cebu and Dumaguete

There are a bunch of places where you can get an RT-PCR test in both Cebu and Dumaguete. Still, you might want to stick to Department of Health (DOH) accredited laboratories. That’s because at the borders they should/ might/ could accept only accepted accredited labs.

COVID-19 Tests in Cebu

Cebu is awash with DOH-accredited labs. Again, check out the official list.

  • Red Cross Mandaue: Anecdotes say that results are online available within 18h, and emailed within 24h. They apparently send test specimen to Manila, hence they don’t guarantee anything.
  • Cebu Doc Drive-thru: Allegedly the only ones able to somewhat guarantee results within 24h. Useful for flights.

Where to get a COVID-19 Test in Dumaguete?

Going back from Dumaguete to Cebu, the Coast Guard on both ports (and even the Maayo Shipping employees) want to see the test result. So keep that handy. Where do you get it in Duma?

As of September 2021, the only accredited lab is the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH) and Silliman University Medical Center (SUMC), though Silliman is placed in Region 7, Cebu. Probably just a mistake.

ACE is not listed as accredited—but who knows, the Coast Guard might accept their results anyways.

Where and how to get a RT-PCR test at Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital (NOPH)

At Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital, the test costs P3,200 and takes 30-36h. They’re pen from Mo-Sun 8 am to 4 pm. Note that it’s first-come, first-serve.

Note: NOPH does not release results per email/ online/ electronically. You have to go there and claim your results in person.

The process goes something like this:

  1. You go to the 2nd floor window of the right building, and, after queuing, get a mini-form to fill out.
  2. With that, you got to the cashier in the central building, pay P3,200, and then go with that back to the window. You get a bigger form and head up to the 3rd floor to wait your turn.
  3. On the third floor you queue, of course, and while you wait you fill out the form. Then a nurse at the first station asks you some questions and … you queue again in the same room.
  4. Later, someone swabs you. Apparently they alternate nasal and mouth swabs each day, so you’ll get either.
  5. After 30-36 hours you can return and claim your result at the first window.

Hotlines allegedly are, according to some sketchy paper on a wall somewhere:

  • 0965-907-6449
  • (035) 225-2615
  • (035) 422-3961

Where and How to get an Antigen Test Swabbing at Silliman University Medical Center (SUMC)

SUMC does not offer an RT-PCR testing. What they have available is only the Antigen Test.
Antigen test is available both for Home Service or for OPD patients. 

To avail of the OPD option:

1. Go to the 2nd floor of the Medical Arts Building (MAB) cashier from Monday-Saturday, 8am-4pm, (lunch break 12 noon-1PM)

2. After paying, go to the Swabbing Collection Area located at Silliman University Ballfield.

Swabbing Schedule: Monday-Saturdat 8am-12noon, 1pm-5pm.

Price of the test: P960 (Senior Citizen and PWD discount applicable). 

3. Results will be available 3 hrs after the test.

Or

You can opt to have the Home Health Services, which serves from 8am-5pm, Monday to Sunday, including Public Holidays.

 

For queries, you can call them at 420-2000, or 225-0841 local 7736. Direct in Dial (DID) 420-2006 or Mobile 09955541643.

 

 

Ferries between Cebu and Dumaguete

If you’re driving down to the Southern tip of Cebu (a beautiful bit of driving down there) and want to take your car or motorcycle (or bicycle) over to Negros, you gotta know that the Maayo Shipping connection between Liloan Santander, Cebu, and Sibulan, Negros is not operating as of September 2021.

Again, good news: Drive five minutes up the coast and you’ll find that the Maayo Shipping port at Bato, Cebu, is open; its RoRo vessels carry you over to Tampi, Negros, a 20 minutes drive down the coast to Dumaguete.

Who checks which travel requirements?

Going from Cebu to Negros

  • Cebu, Maayo Shipping: ID, vehicle documents
  • Cebu, Coast guard: Id & QR code of your S-PASS TCP
  • Negros: Nothing

Going from Negros to Cebu

  • Negros, Maayo Shipping: ID, COVID-19 test result
  • Negros, Coast guard: COVID-19 test result
  • Cebu, Coast guard: COVID-19 test result

Hope that helps you. Safe travels!