GMA immediately took action when an employee informed the Network that she tested positive for COVID-19.
That same night, her permission was secured in compliance with the Data Privacy Act and which she readily gave so contact tracing was done swiftly and thoroughly. Those who had come into direct contact with the COVID positive co-worker were immediately placed on 14-day quarantine with pay. They shall also undergo rapid testing. The work areas were thoroughly disinfected on top of the daily disinfection being done.
Even if not required by government, GMA has conducted free rapid testing for field personnel and committed to shoulder the cost of the confirmatory RT-PCR test of anyone who tested positive due to exposure in their line of work.
To protect its employees, the Newsroom and other work areas are disinfected daily. All News workers were given face masks while alcohol dispensers and footbaths were placed in strategic locations. Social distancing and other safety protocols are mandated. The work spaces were decongested to comply with this. Those who can were allowed to work from home.
GMA News also came out with COVID-19 coverage guidelines to guide field teams during coverage. This was formulated following consultations with medical experts and Department of Health officials. Field teams were also given protective gear such as face masks, face shields, gloves, alcohol, etc.
When Metro Manila was under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) GMA provided its workers with meals, both those in the office and in the field. This continued until our canteen was able to reopen to service our personnel. Hazard pay was also given pursuant to the provisions of our collective bargaining agreement (CBA). And with the lack of public transportation, GMA provided shuttle services to its workers which continues to this day.