MANILA — The Department of Education said Thursday it has a protocol for teachers that need to be checked for COVID-19 infection.
Education Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla said the guidelines on COVID-19 testing for education workers under DepEd Order No. 14 were adopted from the Department of Health.
"Hindi [ito] tinatawag na mass testing. Ito po ay required health standard na ating sinusunod sa ating mga eskuwelahan, sa ating mga opisina," Sevilla said in a Palace briefing.
(We don't call it mass testing. This is a required health standard that we follow in our schools, in our offices.)
Education workers with COVID-19 symptoms or history of exposure to confirmed cases are among those that can be tested, she explained.
The testing protocol is being implemented in coordination with the Department of Health and local government units, said Sevilla.
The Philippine Health Insurance Corp is offering a COVID-19 testing package, which may cover testing for DepEd personnel.
The explanation on testing protocol was made after Vice President Leni Robredo urged the DepEd to conduct mass COVID-19 testing for teachers.
Robredo, in a letter sent to Education Secretary Leonor Briones, recommended to the DepEd to realign its budget "to procure the needed gadgets and equipment for distance learning, as well as address the health concerns of educators."
In the same briefing, Briones said significant budget realignments cannot be made without consulting the Department of Budget and Management.