Tourism, manufacturing workers to be given free COVID-19 testing — DOLE
MANILA, Philippines — Workers in the hospitality and tourism sectors, manufacturing companies, including frontline and economic priority employees, shall be given free coronavirus (COVID-19) swab tests to prevent the spread of the disease in workplaces, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Sunday.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the directive is contained in the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04 series of 2020 with the Department of Trade and Industry which took effect on Saturday.
“The COVID-19 testing must be at no cost to the employees,” Bello said.
Identified to undergo free real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, or RT–PCR tests, are workers in the tourist zones, local manufacturing companies, transport and logistics, food retail, education, financial services, non-food retail, services, public market, construction; water supply, sewerage, and waste management; public sector, and the mass media.
Workers in the hospitality and tourism sectors in Boracay, Coron, El Nido, Panglao, Siargao, and other tourist zones identified by the Department of Tourism will undergo the test every four weeks.
For employees of manufacturing companies and public service providers in economic zones located within Special Concern Areas, they must be tested once every quarter.
Frontline and economic priority workers, or those work in high priority sectors, both public and private; have high interaction with and exposure to the public and live or work in special concern areas, must also be tested once every quarter.
“Sick leave benefits, medical insurance coverage, including supplemental pay allowance, for COVID 19 RT-PCR test-confirmed employees or close contacts made to undergo a 14-day quarantine must also be provided to workers,” the labor department noted.
The memorandum covers all establishments, projects, sites, and all other places where work is being undertaken in branches of economic activity except in the public sector, the DOLE added.
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