NTF lauds McDonald’s PH for providing free COVID-19 RT-PCR testing for its employees

National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Sec. Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. (FILE PHOTO)

CALOOCAN CITY, Oct. 17 (PIA) --National Task Force Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Sec. Carlito G. Galvez, Jr. on Friday lauded McDonald's Philippines for providing free COVID-19 RT-PCR testing for its employees, saying this initiative should set an example for other service-oriented business establishments to follow.

“With this initiative, nakita natin na they are protecting their own frontliners, ‘yung mga employees nila na more or less 20,000. Napakagandang halimbawa nito, na sana parisan din ng iba pang mga business sectors na they have to protect their own frontliners and at the same time, ‘yung confidence ng ating mga consumers to dine in, magkaroon po ng kaganapan,” he said.

McDonald’s Philippines President and CEO Kenneth Yang said that the public’s safety has always been the company’s top priority, and partnering with the NTF in their testing efforts will ensure that they will be able to better contribute to the government’s COVID-19 response efforts.

“In McDonald's, safety has always been our priority, not just with food, but with our people as well. Sa McDonald's po naniniwala kami na if our employees who are our frontliners, if they are safe, then we are able to keep our customers safe,” Yang said.

The McDonald’s testing area is located at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. The testing program is a collaborative effort between McDonald’s Philippines, NTF, and the Philippine Red Cross which will provide free COVID-19 RT-PCR testing for company-owned and franchised store employees in the NCR.

According to Yang, the initiative is part of McDonald’s continued efforts to ensure the health and safety of its employees under its M Safe program. Moreover, it reinforces the collaboration between the public and private sector in scaling up the nation’s testing and isolation capacities.

The testing program aims to ensure a safe workplace for its employees, while providing customers with a secure dining experience. McDonald’s also recently committed to utilize the StaySafe.ph app in its restaurants to improve contact tracing protocols.

For his part, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto thanked McDonald’s Philippines and the national government for launching the program, as it will allow the city to test around 1,000 tricycle drivers who are constantly exposed to the virus.

Sotto noted that the partnership between the national government and LGUs in the fight against COVID-19 has significantly improved, specifically in the implementation of prevention and mitigation measures

“Habang tumatagal po ang laban natin kontra COVID, gumaganda po ang komunikasyon ng nasyonal at lokal na pamahalaan. Kaya ako po ay nagpapasalamat sa mga kinatawan ng national agencies na nandito dahil paganda ng paganda yung response natin,” he said.

“Paigtingin pa natin ang ating laban kontra COVID at things like this, yung testing natin dito, katulong siyempre ang McDonald's, is really a great initiative,” Sotto added.

At the same event, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority General Manager Jojo Garcia lauded the National Task Force for meeting with LGUs and helping to scale up their testing, tracing, isolation and treatments capabilities.

“Hindi po talaga kaya mag-isa ng LGUs, itong NTF, malaking bagay po ang ginagawa nilang kagaya nito na umiikot sa mga NCR mayors para ibigay ang lahat ng resources na pwede,” Garcia said.

In the meantime, NTF Deputy Chief Implementer and testing czar Sec. Vince Dizon, highlighted the importance of testing employees, as they are also among the nation’s “frontliners.”

“Itong testing natin, napakaimportante po nito dahil una, pinapakita natin na valuable ng ating mga frontliners, dahil itong mga ito (service crews), frontliners din po sila,” he said.

Dizon also thanked McDonald's for “supporting the IATF and the NTF to try and live with COVID-19 as we slowly but surely reopen the economy and go back to some semblance of normalcy in our lives.”

Meanwhile, Galvez emphasized that there is a need to continue strengthening the partnership between the government and the private sector, saying this will be the key in reviving the economy.

“Sa National Action Plan on COVID-19 Phase 3 natin, kailangan po na magkaroon ng symbiotic relationship between the public and private sector,” he said (NTF on COVID-19/PIA-NCR)

Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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