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FREE TB TESTING | Swabbed PUV drivers, courier service providers to also get food, groceries




DRIVERS of public utility vehicles, courier services, and food delivery can also get free tuberculosis testing aside from the RT-PCR test.

On Monday, the surveillance of the drivers began at the Crocodile Park along Carlos P. Garcia Highway in Barangay Ma-a. The city also handed out grocery packs, vitamins, and snacks to incentivize them into taking the free swabbing.

Mayor Sara Duterte said the free testing for all drivers of public transportation and delivery services is also an inter-office endeavor.

“Ang participation didto sa City Mayor’s Office (CMO) are the merienda, dunay merienda didto nga lomi og lugaw, and then grocery packs, the usual that we give sa atong surveillance testing sa mga magpatest nagahatag ta, and free face mask and face shield. Ang City Health Office nag-andam pud og mga vitamins. Giisa na nato ang tanang pwede na nato ihatag sa ilaha (CMO’s participation includes providing snacks like lomi, a noodle dish, and lugaw, a rice chicken porridge; grocery packs that we usually give to those who submit to our surveillance testing; and free face mask and face shield. The City Health Office also provides vitamins for them. We just put together everything that we can give them),” Duterte said.

A facility was set up at the Crocodile Park where the drivers do not have to alight from their vehicles.

“Ga-conduct pud og tuberculosis testing for free gihapon kay prone man gud sila sa TB og free pud ang pagpatambal (The free tuberculosis testing is also being conducted for the drivers as they are really prone to the disease. They will also be given free medication).”

The ongoing surveillance, which will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. every Monday to Saturday starting April 26 to May 8, is supported by her Executive Order (E.O.) 22, known as “An Order Providing for Heightened Surveillance and Response of Covid-19 Cases in Public Ground Transport and Delivery Services in Davao City,” signed on April 22, 2021.

She also thanked the Crocodile Park management for allowing the city to use the private property for the surveillance COVID-19 testing.

“It’s not mandatory, it’s voluntary. Dili sya reasonable ang (It’s not reasonable to enforce a) no-test, no-drive. I don’t know about the LTFRB. Pero sa city government, voluntary (But for the city government), it’s voluntary.”

The Land Transportation Regulatory and Franchising Board (LTFRB) 11, however, issued Office Circular No. 2021-04 on April 20, which requires all PUV drivers operating in Davao City to strictly comply with the swab drive-thru program of the city government of Davao.

LTFRB XI officer-in-charge Mizarah Arraz, in her memo, said, “Pursuant to the mandate of this Office in the regulation of land-based public transportation, and to safeguard the welfare and interests of the commuting public, all PUV drivers operating within the City of Davao are hereby required to submit themselves to the Swab Drive-Thru Program of the City Government of Davao, and to further comply with the necessary requisites and protocols relative thereto.”

Meanwhile, Duterte reiterated the provisions of her E.O. 22 that swabbed PUV and delivery service drivers need not undergo quarantine while awaiting their test results. Once a driver’s RT-PCR test yields a positive result, it will only be then that he will be fetched and brought to a government isolation facility or a Temporary Treatment and Management Facility (TTMF).

Drivers who will undergo the free surveillance RT-PCR testing are also required to bring a ballpen and driver’s license or any government-issued ID to the testing location.

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