THE Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) has been adhering strictly to health protocols issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) to fight the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
DHSUD Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario made the remark, citing various proactive measures carried out by the department since last year as part of the efforts to halt the spread of COVID-19.
Del Rosario, through Special Order 2021-027 dated March 27, called for the implementation of skeletal workforce from March 29 to April 4 pursuant to IATF Resolution No. 106-A and Office of the President Memorandum Circular 85.
“We are one with the IATF in exerting all efforts to contain COVID-19 through proactive policies in the office and dealing with our stakeholders while we ensure continuous delivery of public service,” Secretary Del Rosario said.
Recently, there has been a significant spike of COVID-19 cases, particularly in the National Capital Region and nearby provinces, which prompted the IATF to revert to enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from the lesser strict general community quarantine.
Currently, DHSUD is operating with only two to three staff members physically present per office, service or division to ensure unhampered delivery of public services and processing of critical internal documents while protecting employees.
At the height of COVID-19 pandemic last year, DHSUD with its attached agency, Human Settlements Adjudication Commission (HSAC), created a joint task force responsible for updating and implementing measures and protocols at DHSUD Building in compliance to IATF guidelines.
The task force, headed by Director Julius Enciso, monitors and enforces initiatives to curb COVID-19 such as the distribution of facemasks and face shields to all employees; strict implementation of screening before entering DHSUD Building; manual and online contact tracing; assistance for immediate RT-PCR testing for persons under investigation; regular building disinfection; strict observance of health protocols; regular issuances of advisories through social media and the hiring of a medical consultant.
The task force immediately suspends work and isolates offices where positive cases are monitored to allow massive disinfection of premises and subsequent swab testing of contact-traced individuals and home quarantine for 14 days.
Since last year, only 24 DHSUD staff members were tested positive of COVID-19 –four of whom are active cases as of March 31 and currently under home quarantine. Those tested positive were required to present medical certificate before being allowed to return to work.
“We, at DHSUD, see to it that guidelines issued by the IATF are strictly observed. Our priority is, of course, to ensure the safety of our staff and clients,” Secretary Del Rosario said.
“DHSUD personnel are always reminded to observe health protocols, especially wearing of face masks and face shields, and social distancing. The department is currently operating on a skeletal workforce to ensure unhampered public service,” he concluded.Publication Source : People's Tonight