THE Department of Labor and Employment in Central Visayas (DOLE 7) has announced free Covid-19 testing for newly hired employees across all sectors.

The agency has partnered with Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) to conduct reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction or RT-PCR test to qualified beneficiaries.

According to DOLE 7 officer-in-charge Lilia Estillore, priorities of the initiative include newly hired jobseekers in private domestic establishments; agency-hired overseas workers set for deployment; and newly appointed employees in any branch or instrumentality of the government.

“Interested applicant-jobseekers must be able to comply with the documentary requirements and submit them to the nearest DOLE field office in their area. Just yesterday, 13 September 2022, we finalized our partnership with the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center as our partner-testing center here in Cebu. For newly hired jobseekers, whose place of work are in Cebu Province and in the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, the testing center will be the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center,” said Estillore in a statement.

In their application, would-be beneficiaries must provide photocopy of any valid government-issued ID; duly accomplished subsidy application form, which could be accessed at the DOLE field office; certificate of engagement, acceptance or appointment as the case may be, duly signed by the establishment owner, general manager or human resource manager in case of private domestic establishments and recruitment agencies deploying workers overseas; or the head of agency’s human resource office or the head of the agency where the item is, in case of government branch or instrumentality.

Both the DOLE 7 and the VSMMC inked the memorandum of agreement that sealed their partnership in the provision of free Covid-19 testing for qualified beneficiaries within the whole province of Cebu.

The VSMMC is a DOH-accredited facility that has license to operate as a Covid-19 testing center.

Newly hired jobseekers in Negros Oriental, Siquijor and Bohol need not worry as the finalization of the partnership of DOLE and the respective testing centers in the said provinces in the provision of free Covid-19 testing will soon follow.

With the issuance of Department Order 233, Series of 2022 or the Guidelines on the Provision of Free Covid-19 Testing for Newly Hired Jobseekers, qualified beneficiaries will no longer have a problem of defraying additional expenses for swab testing as part of their pre-employment requirements.