The government should take measures that would make testing for COVID-19 free or subsidized instead of passing the burden to workers, Partido Lakas ng Masa vice president candidate Walden Bello said Friday.
This after the Inter-Agency Task Force on COVID-19 earlier approved the mandatory vaccination of eligible on-site workers starting December.
“In areas where there are sufficient supplies of COVID-19 vaccines, COVID-19 vaccination of eligible employees tasked to do on-site work shall be required by all establishments and employers in the public and private sector,” said Palace spokesman Harry Roque.
In a Facebook post, Bello proposed subsidized or free COVID-19 testing for businesses in order to ensure the safety of the employees.
“I take strong exception to Malacañang’s plan starting December 1 that “eligible employees who remain to be unvaccinated … shall be required to undergo regular RT-PCR testing, or antigen tests, at their own expense,” Bello said in a Facebook post.
“By now, the government should’ve been able to make testing free or, at the very least, subsidize or make it cheap for businesses—the MSMEs—to provide regular testing to their employees,” he added.
Bello noted that the national government should be “ramping up” its efforts to urge the Filipinos to get vaccinated instead of passing the burden to them at the risk of their livelihood.
“Instead of ramping up efforts to urge everyone to get vaccinated, this (mis)administration would rather pass the burden to the ordinary workers who are not only suffering from meager pay but also have to gamble their own health—exposing themselves to the risk of getting infected—in order to provide for their families,” he said.