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Unvaccinated on-site workers to pay for RT-PCR tests under IATF new policy —Concepcion

Unvaccinated employees working on-site will be required to undergo and shoulder the cost of their RT-PCR tests every two weeks as part of the government’s efforts to encourage the public to get their COVID-19 jabs, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said on Wednesday.

Concepcion said he received the guidelines of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Wednesday, which the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will release in full next week.

“The IATF has released already the guidelines today, December 1. I have received the note that on-site workers who are not vaccinated will have to take a RT-PCR test every two weeks,” Concepcion said in an interview with ANC.

“So Secretary [Silvestre] Bello will detail that in our town hall next week,” he added.

Concepcion underscored that based on the IATF guidelines the RT-PCR tests will be shouldered by the employees.

The presidential adviser said those on-site workers who refuse to get inoculated against COVID-19 will have to shoulder at least P50,000 to P60,000 annually for their RT-PCR tests.

“They should take the vaccines cause the vaccines are free. Hopefully, this put more pressure on employees who have not taken yet the vaccines,” Concepcion said.

He stressed the necessity to get vaccinated amid the threat of the Omicron variant.

“It is a very serious effort on the part of the government to now mandate vaccines especially for the on-site workers. People can still not want to take the vaccine but they will have to take an RT-PCR test every two weeks which is very expensive at their expense,” he added.

President Rodrigo Duterte said on Monday that he might agree with the IATF if it decides to make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory in the country with the threat of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.

Duterte also earlier said that the employers have the right to refuse employment of an applicant who is not vaccinated.

He indicated that employers who refuse unvaccinated individuals were only protecting their property, investments, and business.—Richa Noriega/LDF, GMA News