Duterte urges employers in some sectors to have free COVID-19 tests for employees
President Rodrigo Duterte has urged employers, especially those in the healthcare, tourism and manufacturing sectors as well as public service providers, including those in the economic zones, to provide free RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) tests for coronavirus to their employees.
In a televised message on Monday night in Davao City, Duterte said the RT-PCR test is not required to asymptomatic employees returning to work.
"However, we have the caveat, the warning...the following priority workers in the sectors may undergo...the hospital as well as the tourism sectors, that's one. Manufacturing companies and public service providers in economic zones located within special concern areas and those of highest COVID-19 cases," he said.
"These are two, they did not divide. First, service providers of the special (zones) like Clark, Subic, and special place where the workers are exposed to COVID-19 that they are required because also of the product. The integrity of the product is assured that it is COVID-free or at least sanitized, cleaned, washed," he said.
"It could be a private or public establishment or area. But the employers are highly encouraged to send their employees for testing at no cost to the employees," he stressed.
In a press briefing on Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said all workers and employees in the hospitality and tourism sectors such as in El Nido and Coron in Palawan, Boracay in Aklan, Panglao in Bohol, and Siargao in Surigao del Norte and other tourist zones, as identified and declared by the Department of Tourism, maybe tested once every four weeks.
For all workers and employees of manufacturing companies and public service providers registered in the economic zones located in special concerns areas may be tested every three months.
Frontline and economic priority workers, defined as those who work in high priority sectors, both public and private; have high interaction with and exposure to the public; and who live or work in special concern areas, may be tested every three months, Roque said. Celerina Monte/DMS