Firm faces rap for failing to report 57 COVID-19 cases

Janvic Mateo - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City government is planning to file charges against a construction firm over its alleged failure to report at least 57 COVID-19 cases among its workers to local health officials.

Mayor Joy Belmonte yesterday urged companies to cooperate and immediately report possible COVID-19 cases among their employees to minimize transmission of the viral illness.

“We call on companies to immediately inform us about their workers who could be positive for COVID-19. This is to avoid the spread of the virus in their work area and to nearby communities,” Belmonte said.

“We will not think twice about filing a case if you will not cooperate and cause problems in the community,” she added in Filipino.

Belmonte issued the reminder after 57 cases of COVID-19 were recorded in the premises of a construction project in Cubao, which the city government said is managed by Millennium Erector Corp. (MEC).

City attorney Orlando Paolo Casimiro said the firm may be held criminally liable for violating Republic Act 11332 – the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act – if evidence proves that it knowingly failed to report the cases among its employees.

He also said that MEC, which has yet to issue a statement on the matter, may also be held liable for violation of health protocols.

The city’s Department of the Building Official earlier issued a cease-and-desist order against all activities of the construction firm in the city.

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