Olivarez defends mandatory testing of employees
Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez defended the order requiring business establishments to test their workers for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), saying this aims to control the spread or minimize the transmission of the virus in the city.
The requirement on the mandatory testing of the workers was listed in the guidelines of an executive order which serves as an interim guideline for business establishments that will operate under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).
The said guideline on testing workers for COVID-19, however, earned negative reactions from business establishments.
Atty. Lanie Malaya, chief of the city’s Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) explained that the executive order of Olivarez is in the exercise of police power of the local government unit in keeping in mind the general welfare of people.
Malaya said that the city government acknowledged the need to restart the economy but “public health should not be compromised and the city don’t want a second wave of the spread of the virus in the coming days.”
She explained that by having rapid tests, coupled with the minimum health standards like hand washing, wearing face masks, thermal scanning, and others, the transmission of the virus will be minimized.
The BPLO chief told employers that the rapid testing can be done anywhere so long as test kits used are FDA approved and the protocols are in accordance with DOH guidelines.
Malaya said that rapid test results may be emailed to email@example.com as people don’t need to go to the City Hall to submit the test result.
The executive order tasked the BPLO and the City Health Office to conduct monitoring and inspect if business establishments are complying with the guidelines with the rapid testing of employees, along with other requirements.
The barangays were also empowered by Olivarez to inspect whether or not business establishments within their area of jurisdiction were already issued Rapid Test Clearance by the City Health Office and are in compliance with social distancing, availability of hand sanitizers and alcohol in the establishment, and wearing of face masks.
Any violation discovered by the barangay shall be endorsed to the BPLO for proper action.
For the BPLO, non-compliance of the order will be a ground for summary suspension or revocation of the establishments’ sanitation permit and may warrant the imposition of criminal and administrative sanctions as may be found in pertinent laws, ordinances, and rules and regulations.
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