Press Releases

With the City of Lucena reporting more COVID-19 cases each day especially in the workplace and with the detection of cases of Delta variant in Quezon, the Department of Labor and Employment Quezon Provincial Office (DOLE QPO) with the Lucena City Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) facilitated a coordination meeting with the banking industry based in Lucena City on August 18, 2021 via zoom platform.

"I think we are entering a new phase of this pandemic, with the more contagious Delta strain," DOLE QPO Head Edwin T. Hernandez told the participants, adding that the CALABARZON region and the entire country is facing a "critical time" in its fight against COVID-19.

“We all know that the Delta variant rapidly takes off and spreads between people more efficiently than any other variants. That is why we need to act now and provide countermeasures to control this,” Mr. Hernandez added.

Engr. Maynard Lubiano of DOLE QPO stated during the meeting that as of August 17, 2021, 168 positive cases in private establishments in Lucena City were reported in the Workplace COVID-19 Prevention and Control Compliance Report. Among these cases, 125 have already recovered while 43 are still active cases.

Meanwhile, Ms. Janet V. Gendrano of the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office of the City of Lucena emphasized the importance of having coordinated effort for COVID-19 response.

“We are very thankful to the Department of Labor and Employment Quezon Provincial Office for spearheading this endeavor because this kind of activity is praiseworthy since this will contribute largely in our efforts in managing the COVID-19 response in the city,” she said.

FO3 Jan Vincent R. Alba, the Chief of Community Relations Unit (CRU) of the Lucena City Fire Station and a contact tracer of the Lucena City Task Force on COVID-19, mentioned that as of August 18, 2021, there are 3,683 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lucena City. Out of these cases, 7% or 261 are active cases and 4% or 147 is the total mortalities. 93% of the confirmed cases are either mild or asymptomatic. He also reported that majority of the exposure to the virus happened in the workplace.

To prevent the spread of delta variant, FO3 Alba underscored to correctly observe the minimum health standards at all times and to immediately isolate upon experiencing symptoms and seek early consultation.

“Please choose to be vaccinated against COVID-19 because data shows that people who are fully vaccinated are protected against the severe symptoms of COVID-19 which may lead to hospitalization or death,” he added.

Apart from sharing information, the participants also discussed strategies and direction required in order to contain the disease spread in the city.

All safety officers of private establishments are urged to cooperate with the Lucena City IATF in disease surveillance. It was mentioned that contact tracing of close contacts shall be initiated after case investigation of every reported probable and confirmed COVID-19 case.

As part of the general guidelines, contact tracing shall also commence for contacts of suspect cases upon detection, while waiting for specimen collection for SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic testing for the suspect case, or while waiting for rRT-PCR results. Contacts of suspect cases shall also be listed, traced, and assessed based on the same criteria used to identify close contacts. Second and third-generation close contacts may also be traced as part of active contact tracing.

It was also reiterated that discharge criteria for suspect, probable, and confirmed COVID-19 cases shall no longer entail repeat testing. Repeat testing should not be a prerequisite for the issuance of a clearance or certification to be issued by medical doctors.

Contact Tracing Teams in the workplace were also encouraged to confer with employers, workplace managers and other authorities from the identified areas or settings of contact to expand or verify the potential contact list, and to facilitate the conduct of disinfection.

Furthermore, listed close contacts in the workplace shall undergo immediate quarantine. After which, the Safety Officer shall also inform concerned Local Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (LESU). LESU shall then generate the list of close contacts outside the workplace and shall be referred to LGU Contact Tracing Teams.

In closing, DOLE QPO Head Mr. Edwin Hernandez requested for the participants to submit to the office the names of their safety officers.

“Since workplace transmission of COVID-19 continues to be a challenge, we need the help of the safety officers to conduct thorough risk assessment and implement robust infection, prevent and control strategies, including contact tracing, to keep workplaces open and operational,” said Mr. Hernandez.


Sr. Labor and Employment Officer
Regional Labor Information Officer

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