DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said COVID-19 testing is not mandatory and that local executive orders requiring such are not allowed.
STAR/Michael Varcas, file
DILG: Firms not required to test workers for virus
Romina Cabrera (The Philippine Star) - May 24, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Local government units (LGUs) cannot require companies under their jurisdiction to conduct coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) testing for employees before they can resume business, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) said yesterday.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año said COVID-19 testing is not mandatory and that local executive orders requiring such are not allowed.

“We want to restart the economy and get employees back on their feet and provide for their families,” he said in a statement, adding that neither the DILG nor the trade and labor departments have issued orders.

Companies are given the leeway to require their employees to undergo rapid antibody tests but the cost shall be covered by the company and not the employee.

The DILG said that LGUs can instead conduct screening or diagnostic tests before they can permit workers to return to work and only test those who show symptoms.

Private companies are also encouraged to ask returning employees to fill out disclosure forms indicating their activities for the past 14 days and their possible exposure to suspect and probable COVID-19 cases.

LGUs should also ensure that companies and employees practice minimum health standards to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace such as wearing face masks, practicing physical distancing of two meters and barriers that would prevent employees from standing too close.

COVID-19 DILG
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