CSC urges agencies to provide COVID-19 testing, home care kits for workers

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 17) — The Civil Service Commission on Monday said government agencies can utilize certain funds to finance COVID-19 tests and home care kits for their personnel without charging them anything.

Maganda hong suggestion at maganda pong idea ‘yan. ‘Yan ho iyong pwedeng i-cover doon sa DBM (circular) at no cost to the employee. Kukunin ninyo ho sa MOOE,” said CSC Commissioner Aileen Lizada, when asked about widely testing government employees to help curb the spread of COVID-19 and keep operations uninterrupted.

[Translation: That is a good idea and suggestion. That can be covered under the DBM circular at no cost to the employee. This will be funded through the MOOE.]

Lizada was referring to DBM Circular 2020-14, which reiterates applicable guidelines in relation to agencies’ budget usage for implementing health and safety protocols.

Citing the issuance, the CSC official said departments can use their Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses (MOOE) to finance pandemic response initiatives like home care kits for their workforce.

“We are allowed at ginagawa na pala ng DBM ito. So, let us prepare for them a home care COVID kit para ho this will also declog ‘yung mga ibang health centers na pinupuntahan ng public,” said Lizada.

[Translation: We are allowed and as it turns out, the DBM has already been doing this. So, let us prepare for them a home care COVID kit so this will also declog other public health centers.]

The official also reminded agencies to adopt alternative work arrangements prescribed by the CSC on top of reducing on-site capacity as infections continue to increase.

Authorities earlier allowed the home management of asymptomatic, mild, and moderate COVID-19 patients and their close contacts to help prevent hospitals and healthcare facilities from getting overwhelmed amid the current surge in cases.