MANILA, Philippines — The Parañaque City government has ordered its legal department to look into the testing of around 300 Chinese workers for the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) inside a gated subdivision, saying all those found to have violated laws should be held liable.
The mass testing of Philippine offshore gaming operator workers on May 28 at the BF Federation of Homeowners Association Inc. (BFFHAI) park in Barangay BF Homes outraged residents and officials of the subdivision who urged Mayor Edwin Olivarez to conduct an investigation.
“There were no notices, no permits issued by the city government or from the barangay. We have health protocols violated,” Olivarez said, noting that testing for COVID-19 should be done only in areas accredited by the Department of Health (DOH) and city health office.
In a statement, city information officer Mar Jimenez also refuted the defense of BFFHAI president Arturo Astorga II that no laws were violated during the testing, saying the latter was “ignorant” of the rules and regulations under Republic Act No. 11469, or the Bayanihan To Heal as One Act.According to Jimenez, some residents reported that several Chinese workers were not wearing face masks and failed to observe physical distancing.
“No permit from the city and the barangay, no accreditation from the DOH, not wearing a face mask, [failure] to practice social distancing — these are all the breaches that the BFFHAI has committed under the [law],” he said.
In its initial investigation, the city government learned the Chinese nationals worked for Billion Dragon Outsource Philippines Inc., based in Las Piñas City.
According to BFFHAI, the testing was conducted by Parañaque-based laboratories MedTek (Medical Trends & Technologies Inc.) and Labcor Diagnostics Center.