Labor dept reviewing rule on mandatory PCR test for some workers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 17 2020 10:40 AM

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The labor department said Monday it was reconsidering its order for workers in select industries to be tested for the novel coronavirus regularly. 

PhilHealth may not have enough funds to shoulder the RT-PCR or real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction test, said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. 

"Itong quarterly PCR test, e under review kasi baka medyo masyado nang mabigat," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo. 

(The quarterly PCR test is under review because it might be too heavy.)

"We’ll come up with a new health protocol together with DTI (Department of Trade and Industry)," he added. 

The labor department said Sunday quarterly PCR tests are required for: 
- Employees of manufacturing companies and public service providers in economic zones located within Special Concern Areas; 
- Frontline and economic priority workers, or those who work in high priority sectors, both public and private; and 
- Those who have high interaction with and exposure to the public and live or work in special concern areas. 

Hospitality and tourism sectors in El Nido, Boracay, Coron, Panglao, Siargao, and other areas identified by the Department of Tourism should be tested every 4 weeks, said the labor agency. 

Workers who will test positive for the virus should be quarantined for 14 days and get sick leave benefits and medical insurance coverage, said Bello's department. 

TeleRadyo, Aug. 17, 2020