SAN Miguel Corporation (SMC) said all players belonging to its three Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) teams are free from Covid-19.
SMC president and chief operating officer Ramon S. Ang said players of San Miguel Beermen, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok have undergone testing as part of SMC’s efforts to test about 70,000 in its workforce, including third party providers, in preparation for the reopening of its facilities nationwide.
“We are happy to report that all of our basketball players tested negative from the virus,” said Ang, who decided to put up a PCR-testing facility and laboratory right at the company premises to reduce the strain on government health facilities that are currently conducting and processing Covid-19 tests.
Ang added that while sports is important, the prevention of the spread of Covid-19 virus should be carefully considered before any decision to resume contact sports.
“We defer to the government’s wisdom and decision on when team-based leagues like the PBA will return especially if people’s lives are at stake. While we all miss the PBA, we need to first create a safe environment to limit the spread of the virus,” he said.
San Miguel plans to regularly test its players and staff involved in the league and gave an assurance that existing health packages are more than sufficient to cover them and their families.
“Our players and employees have nothing to be worried about as we have assured that they will continue to receive their salaries and health benefits. And we have constantly reminded our players as well as other employees to strictly follow health protocols during this time,” he added.
SMC is strictly implementing workplace safety measures like physical distancing, wearing of protective equipment, frequent hand washing, and conducting temperature checks at its offices and facilities across the country.
It earlier announced that only 20 percent of the head office workforce will be reporting for duty while majority will still work from home. Those who will report physically for work will need to go through the company’s Covid-19 testing procedures.
SMC has also started testing 8,000 manufacturing and operations and management front line staff at its food facilities that were in continuous operation to ensure stable food supply during the quarantine. Testing in Visayas and Davao were also scheduled at the end of May or early June.
Earlier, the company donated three sets of Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) testing machines and RNA machines to key government hospitals on top of the five sets of the same machines and testing kits equivalent to 20,000 tests that were given to the Department of Health.
It also donated testing booths to 17 Metro Manila LGUs to help expand Covid-19 testing in their respective areas and make it available at little or no cost to poor communities.