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Swab test for returning workers not mandatory — DTI



The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) on Monday has reminded all companies, now allowed to operate under the new quarantine classification that their workers may report to their respective workplaces even without swab test.

In a radio interview, Secretary Ramon Lopez said no workers shall be barred from performing their duties if they have not secured any RT-PCR Test or swab test.


“Hindi po mandatory ang swab test for work purposes, unless ang opisina ang gagastos. But they cannot impose it as a requirement so workers can report. But I am encouraging workers with symptoms or those exposed to Covid 19 positive na huwag na lang pumasok at mag-isolate na. I-report na lang sa office para di na makapanghawa pa,” according to Lopez.

And for the longest time, Lopez once again enjoined Filipinos to strictly follow minimum health standards in order for the economy to restart regaining momentum, following the de-escalation of the quarantine protocols from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to modified-ECQ.

He said owners of the establishments that were given the go signal to operate must be vigilant in imposing minimal health protocols to their customers and employees, such as wearing face masks, face shields and one-meter social distancing.

“I am reminding owners to strictly implement the minimum health standards to allow us to open some more industries. We have to mandate this so that cases will go down, which as an indicative in order for the economic team to continue easing quarantine classifications. If cases will surge again, then this MECQ will not last, and worst, we will go back again to ECQ,” according to Lopez.


FFCCCII issues same appeal

Meanwhile, Federation of Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Incorporated (FFCCCII) likewise appealed to all people to uphold all health protocols like properly wearing face masks and face shields, social distancing, wash hands often, and cooperate by taking vaccines.

“Let us unite, cooperate, and help each other overcome this crisis, because this new surge of cases due mainly to new variants of Covid-19 is happening worldwide, including in North America and Europe. Even industrialized countries like the USA, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, etc. are facing new surge in cases. In Canada, their biggest population region of Ontario just started a new 4-weeks lockdown & this area includes its capital city Ottawa and its biggest city Toronto.  In South America too, Brazil, Peru & others are now facing new surges due to new variants,” FFCCCII President Henry Lim Bon-Liong said.

Bon-Liong noted that the two weeks implementation of the ECQ had been extremely difficult for businesses, particularly for SMEs nationwide and to workers.

“But we need to balance the need to protect lives and the no less crucial need to also safeguard livelihoods of workers and entrepreneurs. So let us just simply follow simple rules to avoid the resurgence of cases in our country,” he reiterated.

Quarantine classifications for the National Capital Region Plus Bubble, including neighboring provinces of Rizal, Bulacan, Laguna and Cavite, are downgraded to MECQ starting yesterday, 12 April.