Fast food chain launches free COVID testing for employees

Published October 17, 2020, 3:40 PM

by Dhel Nazario

There have been more than four million tests for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) conducted in the country, the National Task Force (NTF) Against COVID-19 said.

In a statement, the NTF said that as of Oct. 14, the country already has 147 licensed COVID-19 testing laboratories and has conducted 4.2 million tests. 

Deputy Chief Implementer Sec. Vince Dizon underscored the importance of testing with the resumption of work and business operations as McDonald’s testing for its employees was formally launched on Friday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.

Close to 20,000 McDonald’s restaurant crew and managers will benefit from free COVID-19 tests as part of the government’s expanded testing program, which covers workers in the food retail industry and other economy workers.

The event was graced by the National Action Plan Against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Sec. Carlito Galvez Jr., Deputy Chief Implementer Sec. Vince Dizon, McDonald’s Philippines President and CEO Kenneth Yang, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) General Manager Jojo Garcia, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto, and former Rizal Governor Casimiro “Junjun” Ynares III. 

The free testing covers employees from McDonald’s own and franchised stores within the National Capital Region. The company’s frontliners will be swabbed at the mega swabbing facilities in Palacio de Maynila and Lakeshore Taguig.

“Whenever the private sector does something like this, it really shows our people that there’s a way to get out of this; there’s a way for us to live with COVID-19,” Dizon said.

Yang said that McDonald’s M Safe campaign is anchored on their company’s continuous commitment to make safety of their employees and customers alike a priority.

“At McDonald’s, safety has always been our priority not just with food, but with our people as well. Kasi sa McDonald’s, naniniwala kami na (we believe that) if our employees are safe, then our customers will be safe, too,” Yang said. “We’re always strengthening our sanitation and disinfection standards, and this project is another way of strengthening that also. We need to keep safe but we also need to keep up our economy, that is our objective.”

Residents in Pasig City and the province of Rizal will also benefit from the said five-day testing operations, which began on Oct. 16 and will last until Oct. 20 at the Ynares Gym. The booths will then be turned over to the city government of Pasig for its use in testing its residents.