Malacanang insists workers not required to virus tests
The national government does not require testing of workers for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19), according to Malacañang Palace.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said local government units and private companies cannot require their workers to pay for virus testing so they could go back to work.
"Ang hindi po pupuwede ay mag-require ng test para ikaw ay makabalik sa trabaho," he said in a Palace press briefing.
(Requiring tests so you can return to work is prohibited.)
"That must be done voluntarily," he added.
The Palace welcomes initiatives though of employers to have their employees tested for the virus.
"Kung yung mga employers ay sila na ang magbabayad o magbibigay ng rapid test o di naman kaya PCR test, hindi po natin sila pinipigilan," said Roque, who also acts as spokesperson of the government's Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
(If employers will pay or provide for testing, we do not prohibit them from doing so.)
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said that suspect COVID-19 cases returning to work are the only ones required to undergo medical tests based on guidelines from the Department of Health.
Millions of workers have slowly returned to work this week after a nearly 2-month lockdown that shut the economy.
The government has asked companies and establishments to observe minimum health standards and COVID-19 precautionary measures as the pandemic continues.
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