THE Davao City Government is no longer requiring a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) or antigen test result to get health cards from the City Health Office, Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said.

Duterte-Carpio said in a radio interview on Monday, January 24, that the Covid-19 Task Force has agreed to lift the requirement for negative RT-PCR or antigen test that has been required by the City since September 2021 through Resolution 35-A to ensure the health safety of workforce in every establishment.

"It was agreed upon na tanggalon na ang testing dinha sa pagkuha og health card nato. Wala na ang RT-PCR test or antigen test na required kung magkuha ka og health card or magrenew ka og health card dinhi sa City Government of Davao, sa City Health Office (It was agreed that the testing will be removed as a requirement for the health card. RT-PCR test or the antigen test that will not be required to get health card or renewal of it under the City Health Office of the City Government of Davao)," Duterte-Carpio said in an interview on 87.5 FM Davao City Disaster Radio.

The mayor said the lifting of the requirement is due to the limited capacity of the city to provide free tests.

"Ang reason is because daghan sila kaayo and there are not enough tests na libre gikan sa City Government of Davao nga mo-cover sa tanang magkuha og health card (The reason for this is that the [applicants] are too many and there are not enough free tests from the City Government to cover all of them)," she said.

The mayor said another reason for the lifting of the requirement is that she received reports that the cost of the test is passed on to employees for them to get a health card.

Duterte-Carpio said the responsibility of the surveillance should be shouldered by the employers because it is their interest that will be heavily affected if the number of cases will spread among the workforce.

"Employers should be responsible enough nga naa sila’y surveillance sa mga employees nila nga dunay symptoms. Because kung pasagdan nila ni muabot ang panahon nga tanan na magkasakit and it would really affect their business. (Employers should be responsible enough to have surveillance of the employees with symptoms. Because if this is taken for granted, more will get sick and it would really affect their business)," she said.

“So, it is very important, gina-highlight nato sa tanan nato nga businesses nga duna’y regular surveillance testing to avoid the situation nga wala na’y empleyado, na ma-lockdown mo because sa kadaghan sa cases (So, it is very important, and we highlight for all the businesses to have regular surveillance testing to avoid the lack of manpower and lockdown of offices due to a high number of Covid-19 cases),” she added.