ACT: No mass testing, no school opening

THE Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT)  urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to conduct mass testing among education workers in time for the order to start work on June 1.

"No mass testing, no physical reporting and no class opening,” according to ACT Secretary Raymond Basilio.

ACT argued the importance of such measure, especially as many more areas are set to ease quarantine measures by end of May.

"We welcomed DepEd’s proclamation recognizing mass testing as an important step with regards to class opening. We forward, however, the need for the same before education workers are asked to report on June 01. This should be completed with test results before we return to work, and without charge" according to Basilio said.

"Lest we risk spreading COVID-19 further, rendering the 2-month lockdown moot and endangering the health of at least 2 million education workers and their families,”Basilio added.

DepEd announced it will release a separate guideline for its employees which ACT said needs to be available at the ‘soonest possible time.’

Basilio explained that ‘mass testing’ shall be conducted among education workers who:

•    Have symptoms and exposure to confirmed COVID-19 case/s;

•    Don’t have symptoms but have exposure to confirmed COVID-19 case/s;

•    Have COVID-19 symptoms but no known exposure to confirmed COVID-19 case/s; and

•    Vulnerable populations from the workforce

DepEd guidelines should include information on who will screen and administer test on employees and with assurance that these will be free, and shouldered by the government.