December 9, 2022

The Department of Labor and Employment issued guidelines for the free Covid-19 testing for newly hired workers.
The guidelines, contained in Department Order 233 signed by Sec. Silvestre Bello III, expound on the one-time grant of free Covid-19 testing for qualified newly hired job seekers required to secure a negative RT-PCR result as among the pre-employment requirements.
Qualified beneficiaries are newly hired jobseekers across all sectors complying with the pre-employment requirements.
Aside from newly hired applicants in private domestic establishments, the guidelines include agency-hired overseas workers set for deployment and newly appointed employees in any branch or instrumentality of the government.
“The program shall cover job seekers hired after the effectivity of this order, and jobseekers employed beginning Feb. 1 yet to assume position due to lack of negative RT-PCR test result,” it said.
Foreigners, except persons of concern, are not covered by the program.
Applicants must present the following documentary requirements: photocopy of any valid government-issued ID, subsidy application form and certificate of engagement, acceptance, or appointment as the case may be, duly signed by the following: establishment owner, general manager, or human resource manager, in case of private domestic establishments and recruitment agencies deploying workers overseas; or head of agency’s human resource office or the head of the agency where the item is, in case of government branch or instrumentality.
Newly hired employees shall submit the complete documentary requirements to the nearest DOLE field office which will then evaluate the application within three working days from receipt thereof, and endorse the pre-evaluated applications to the concerned regional office for final approval/denial.
The DOLE regional office shall notify the applicant within five working days whether the application is approved or denied through e-mail or text message.
Once approved, the electronic mail will include the information that the beneficiary will present to the testing center such as reference number, date and time, and place of testing.
The DOLE allocated P100 million for the project, to be sourced from the 2022 national budget. – PNA

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