Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Wednesday ordered his administration to provide free RT-PCR testing for employees of malls, hotels, restaurants and supermarkets, vendors in public markets, and drivers of e-trikes, pedicabs, tricycles, jeepneys and buses operating in the nation’s capital.
Under Executive Order 39, Domagoso directed the Manila Health Department to provide free swab tests to these workers after the Sta. Ana Hospital’s second molecular laboratory was launched.
“The real threat of COVID-19 will continue to persist in our community, thereby sending fear to every person of getting infected with it. This fear will affect not only the individual preferences and behavior or every person, but also the economic growth (of the city),” Domagoso said.
“In order to allay the fear of getting infected with COVID-19, there is a need to assure the public that employees of these frequently visited establishments are COVID-19 free and thus spur economic activities,” the Mayor said.
Domagoso said the city “finds it imperative to provide the employees of these establishments with free RT-PCR testing as the city’s proactive initiative in balancing health and economy for the general welfare of Manileños.”
City government heads of the Manila Bureau of Permits and Licensing Office, the Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila and the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau are “further directed to require establishments under their jurisdiction to require filling up mandatory health declaration forms for contact tracing purposes,” the Mayor said.
The executive order was issued on the same day the Sta. Ana Hospital’s new molecular laboratory was inaugurated. It is capable of processing about 1,000 swab tests a day.
The facility was built through the efforts of the Manila City government, the assistance of the Ayala Group of Companies and the donations turned over by the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Budget and Management.
The Ayala Group of Companies contributed P8.5 million for the construction of the molecular laboratory in support of the Manila City government’s mass testing efforts.
For their part, the DOH and DBM turned over two Daan Natch CS Extraction Machines to the Sta. Ana Hospital for the processing of swab tests in the City of Manila.
With a capability of 1,000 swab tests a day, the Sta. Ana Hospital will be able to process about 30,000 tests a month for the City of Manila.