Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez expressed satisfaction that establishments in a mall in Makati are highly compliant with the minimum health protocols enforced by Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID).
This, following the surprise post-audit inspection on 20 June 2020 of barbershops and dine-in restaurants in Glorietta, conducted by DTI, together with National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., Makati Mayor Abigail Binay, and representatives from the Departments of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Tourism (DOT), and Labor and Employment (DOLE).
“Based on our inspection today and official reports from nationwide monitoring efforts conducted by different teams from DTI, DILG, DOLE, and DOT, together with the respective local government units (LGUs), the rate of compliance is very high,” said Trade Secretary Lopez.
He added, “Most establishments are close to 98-100% compliant, with some even going beyond by implementing the use of technology in the registration before entering by using QR codes for easier contact tracing in the future.”
The compliance monitoring report was based on the adherence of establishments with the current limits on operational capacity, conduct of thermal scanning, implementation of the wearing of face mask, distancing of chairs, sanitation practices, as well as the health gears of workers, among others.
Meanwhile, NTF Chief Implementer Sec. Galvez was also satisfied with the compliance of businesses, noting that the guidelines implemented were not only to ensure the health and safety of consumers, but also the protection of workers as businesses resume operations.
Starting 15 June, the IATF approved the gradual opening of dine-in service in fast food and restaurants in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) at a 30% seating. The reopened establishments must observe the minimum health standards set by the government, followed by a post-audit mechanism to ensure that the standards are achieved and continuously observed.
Under the DTI Guidelines on Minimum Health Protocol for Dine-In Restaurants and Fast Food Establishments released on 2 June, these businesses should have tables and chairs at least one meter apart on all sides and be properly sanitized after each customer’s use.
In addition, establishments should also provide proper dividers for face-to-face seating; have visible floor markings for guidance in queueing; have visible and accessible sanitizing equipment; provide food menus per table; practice contactless order-taking; cover pieces of furniture made of porous materials with plastic for ease of sanitation; have clean trash bins for used articles; have clean washrooms and toilets with sufficient soap, water, tissue and toilet paper; and disinfect high-risk areas every 30 minutes.
The full list of guidelines can be accessed through this link: bit.ly/guidelines_resto_fastfood
Establishments found not following the said guidelines will be temporarily closed. Citing a recent incident involving a bar in Makati illegally operating and accepting customers under the GCQ, Mayor Binay warned: “We will not tolerate this kind of activity, especially now that we are in a state of public health emergency.”
Sec. Lopez added, “The temporary closure of establishments is enforced to allow businesses to correct their deficiencies. Once they have addressed these and are found compliant with the protocols, they may resume operations.”
According to Mayor Binay, the effectivity of the imposed health measures is a partnership between the establishments and the customers, emphasizing the need for strong cooperation of both parties. She also asked for the extended patience of customers, given the added safety protocols and long queuing involved when entering establishments.
Sec. Galvez also remarked that while the government is doing its best to balance public health and the reopening of the economy through gradual means, citizens should also have the right mindset when going out. He stressed the importance of observing proper social distancing measures and the need to exercise extreme caution at all times.
“All these efforts are to ensure that the gains that we have acquired during the past months will continue, especially as we work towards slowly and safely easing lockdown restrictions in the Modified GCQ (MGCQ),” the trade chief said.
Stay updated with news and information from the Department of Trade and Industry by visiting their website at dti.gov.ph.