The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has allocated P100 million for free COVID-19 testing of newly-hired workers.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said new recruits were required to secure a negative RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction) test result as pre-condition for their employment.
“The Department has allocated P100 million for this program. Through this, we intend to ease the burden of additional COVID-19 cost among newly-hired jobseekers in the private sector, agency-hired overseas workers set for deployment, and even newly-appointed employees in any branch or instrumentality of the government,” Bello said.
The program would cover workers hired beginning last February 1, but have yet to report for work due to lack of negative RT-PCR test result.
To avail of the free COVID-19 test subsidy, the recruits must submit a photocopy of their valid government-issued identification cards and duly accomplished subsidy application form to their DOLE field office.
Workers in the private sector must also submit a certificate of engagement, acceptance, or appointment duly signed by the company owner, general manager, or human resource manager.
Those eyeing employment in the government service or state owned or controlled corporation must secure the certificate from the head of the agency or the human resource chief.
The DOLE field office would evaluate the application within three working days from receipt thereof and endorse the pre-evaluated applications to the concerned DOLE regional office.
The DOLE regional office would in turn notify the applicant through email/SMS within five working days whether his/her application was approved or denied.
If approved, the email must include the information that the beneficiary should present to the testing center, such as reference number and date, time, and place of testing.