The local government is no longer requiring a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or antigen test to get health cards from the city health office (CHO).
In an interview Tuesday, Charmaine Gallera, a fresh graduate currently processing her papers for a job application here, said doing away with the RT-PCR test would save her some money but admitted that the test could still prove helpful.
“The city health card is very important especially now that we have a pandemic. Most employers are looking for it despite being fully vaccinated,” she said.
However, Gallera said with the emerging new variants, requiring an RT-PCR test is still a necessity and not doing so could pose risks.
Mayor Sara Z. Duterte said in a radio interview on Monday said the lifting of the requirement was due to the limited capacity of the city to provide free tests to detect the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19)
“The reason for this is that the [applicants] are too many and there are not enough free test (kits) from the city government to cover all of them. The purpose of this [health card requirement] is surveillance, so we shifted our surveillance to the establishment depending upon the capacity or the allotted test for the surveillance,” she said.
Duterte pointed out that employers have the responsibility to conduct surveillance among their employees because these companies are the ones to be heavily affected if the virus spreads among the workforce.
“Employers should be responsible enough to have surveillance of the employees with symptoms. (For the reason that) if this is taken for granted, more will get sick and affect their business,” Mayor Sara said.
She added that there is a need to emphasize to all the businesses to regularly conduct surveillance testing to avoid manpower shortage and lockdown of offices due to a high number of Covid-19 cases. (PNA)