The Quezon City government has reiterated its call to companies to immediately report possible coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases among their workers even as it plans to sue a construction firm for violation of COVID-19 protocols.
“We call on companies to immediately inform us about their workers who could be positive for COVID-19. This is to avoid the spread of the virus in their work area and to nearby communities,” Mayor Joy Belmonte said.
“Kung hindi kayo makikipagtulungan at magdudulot kayo ng abala pati na sa komunidad, hindi kami magdadalawang isip na sampahan kayo ng kaso,” she added.
Belmonte issued the reminder after City Attorney Orlando Paolo Casimiro said that cases would be filed for violation of health protocols against Millennium Erector Corporation (MEC), which is currently undertaking the construction of Manhattan Cubao, after 57 cases of COVID-19 were recorded in its premises.
“If evidence proves that MEC was aware of its workers’ situation but failed to report to the CESU, then they may be held criminally liable pursuant to Section 2.c of the IRR of RA 11332 or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act,” Casimiro said.
The Department of the Building Official (DBO), headed by Atty. Dale Peral, endorsed the filing of charges for violation of RA 11332 after it issued a Cease and Desist Order last August 26 against MEC to halt all construction activities.
“The CDO will not be lifted until there is clearance from the CESU and DBO,” said Perral.
After the discovery of one index case on Aug. 16, the City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) conducted mass testing of 271 workers, 13 of which turned out positive and were brought to the city’s HOPE Facility. The area was also placed under Special Concern Lockdown. On Aug. 21, an additional 13 positive workers were brought to HOPE.
On Aug. 26, the CESU conducted mass testing anew on the initially negative workers after the contact tracers and the barangay noticed that many of them were asking for paracetamol and many were coughing. As it turned out, CESU said 30 additional workers tested positive for COVID-19.
CESU can be reached via their official Facebook page and QC Contact Tracing HOTLINES 8703-2759, 8703-4398, 0916-122-8628, 0908-639-8086, and 0931-095-7737.
Various labor groups also reported to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) possible labor violations committed by the construction firm, including non-payment of wages and night differential, among others.