To ensure that business establishments and workplaces are following safety and health standards in the continuing battle against the pandemic, the Department of Trade and Industry Region (DTI) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) of CALABARZON joined forces to monitor 197 establishments. Businesses that are located in the malls, economic zones, manufacturing companies, and Business Process Outsourcing companies simultaneously in the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon on June 10-11, 2020 in relation to the DTI-DOLE Interim Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19.
The guidelines are issued to assist private institutions that are allowed to operate during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in compliance the minimum health protocols and standards.
“Our objective is not to penalize the establishments but to assist them in complying with the guidelines. Instead of monitoring the wages of employees and prices of basic necessities like what DOLE and DTI usually do, our focus today is on health and safety measures in the workplaces and business establishments,” said DOLE-CALABARZON Director Henry John Jalbuena.
DTI and DOLE require that the businesses in operation should observe some of the following measures: signages on COVID safety measures in the premises; employees wearing face masks all the time; temperature checks for both workers, clients, and visitors; spraying of alcohol/sanitizers on both hands; availability of disinfectant footbaths at the entrance and sanitizers in all areas where workers pass; disinfection of equipment or vehicle entering the premises; proper waste disposal; and clean water and soap in all washrooms and toilets, among others.
To minimize contact rate among workers, the agencies checked the implementation of alternative work arrangements such as work from home arrangement for vulnerable workers, minimum number of participants in meetings needing physical presence, video-conferencing, number of people in enclosed spaces (rooms, stores, halls, elevators, etc.), observance of at least one meter physical distancing, appropriate PPEs provided to cleaners, etc. The agencies also inquired about the establishment’s budget allotment for the implementation of COVID prevention and control program and the process for reporting and referral system.
The team found minor lapses such as no directional signages posted for one-way out in walkways and absences of footbaths at the entrances. The store owners and representatives, however, have signified their intention to immediately correct the shortcomings.
“We thank the business owners and operators for their cooperation and willingness to comply with the guidelines. This is one of the ways where we can keep our economy moving and securing the public’s safety at the same time,” said DTI-CALABARZON Director Marilou Toledo.
The DTI-Regional Operations Group headed by Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona ensures that the business operations in all the regions and provinces are compliant to the guidelines.
You can view or download the guidelines in this link: https://www.dti.gov.ph/advisories/dti-dole-release-guidelines-workplace-prevention-control-covid19.