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Curfew won’t stop spread of virus

IMPOSING curfew hours won’t stop the surge in COVID-19 cases in the country especially in Metro Manila.

It would only limit workers’ earning capacity and cut business operating hours. That’s not the way to economic recovery.

What should be done is to strictly enforce the minimum health protocols in public areas and mass transportation systems.

Enforcement should be led by members of the local government units, Philippine National Police, Metro Manila Development Authority and other related agencies.

Meanwhile, implementation of safety and health policies in workplaces should also be sustained.

Employers and workers are trying their best to achieve this. The problem lies in their journey from the house to workplace where simple but very important rules are violated.

Relatedly, the government is reminding owners of business establishments to keep their workplaces safe from COVID-19.

While the government is in the process of opening up the economy by allowing the operational capacity of business establishments and activities, it is important to remain mindful of the workplace guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus, amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in recent days.

In a joint advisory signed by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III recently, establishment owners were asked to reinforce their strict implementation of health protocols as provided in previously issued workplace guidelines such as DTI-DOLE Joint Administrative Order 2020-04-A, DOH Administrative Order 2020-0015 and applicable sector-specific policies.

Among the common mandatory health and safety protocols given to businesses allowed to operate are contact tracing mechanisms for clients and guests and health declaration form for workers; thermal scanning of all personnel, clients, and suppliers; and provision of sanitizers and disinfecting solutions to everyone entering establishments.

Other protocols that must be strictly implemented include a regular interval of sanitation of hands; strict enforcement of “No Face Mask and Face Shield, No Entry” policy; proper ventilation and exhaust system in the establishment; distancing of chairs, desks, and tables; queuing areas complying with at least one-meter distance; regular cleaning of high touch surfaces and proper sanitation of workplaces, trash areas and restrooms.

Owners of business establishments should be reminded that there are penalty provisions for those firms which are found not implementing health and safety protocols in their respective workplaces.

These penalties are provided for by Republic Act No. 11058 or An Act Strengthening Compliance with Occupancy Safety and Health Standards and Providing Penalties for Violation Thereof and DOLE Department Order No. 198.

The DTI and DOLE continue to conduct regular post-audit of establishments allowed to operate to check if they comply with health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

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Many are sad over the decision of San Miguel Corporation to temporarily close Skyway 3 starting last night to give way for the construction of the other ramps.

SMC must be only concerned of public safety. But does the construction of the other ramps really pose danger to the people using Skyway 3?

The opening of Skyway 3 has elated many Filipinos who have grown tired of the horrendous traffic in many thoroughfares of Metro Manila.

Considered as a gamechanger, the SMC project cuts travel time between many points in the metropolis.

Maybe SMC should reconsider its decision.

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Publication Source :    People's Tonight