by Eric Paolo Smith
To assist private institutions allowed to operate during ECQ and GQC to develop the minimum health protocols for the private sector, the Philippines Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) have issued “Interim Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19”.
This is following IATF recommendation on April 23, 2020 that guidelines should be issued by the different government agencies to provide policy directions for the public and stakeholders in complying with Government regulations following the modification of ECQ.
Section 4, recommends safety and health standards for implementation in all workplaces. These standards carry the following objectives:
- Increase physical and mental resilience
- Reducing transmission of COVID-19
- Minimize contact rate
- On Reducing the risk of infection from COVID-19
Section 5 stipulates the duties of employers and workers:
1. Provide the necessary company policies for the prevention and control of COVID-19 in consultation with workers. Advocacy and IEC programs should be taken from DOH, WHO and reliable sources of information on COVID-19;
2. Provide resources and materials needed to keep the workers healthy and the workplace safe, e.g., masks, soap, sanitizer, disinfectant, PPEs, including COVID-19 testing kits, etc;
3. Designate the safety officer to monitor COVID-19 prevention and control measures such as physical distancing, wearing of masks, regular disinfection, compliance to thermal scanning and accomplishing health symptoms questionnaire;
4. Enhance health insurance provision for workers;
5. Where feasible, provide shuttle services and/or decent accommodation on near-site location to lessen travel and people movement;
6. Enjoin the hiring from the local community; and
7. Put up a COVID-19 Hotline and Call Center for employees to report if symptomatic, and daily monitoring scheme of our “suspect” employee condition.
1. Comply with all workplace measures in place for the prevention and control of COVID-19, such as, frequent hand washing, wearing of masks, observe physical distancing always, etc;
2. Observe proper respiratory etiquette;
3. Coughing and sneezing into tissue or into shirt sleeve if tissue is not available.
4. Disposing used tissues properly; and
5. Disinfecting hands immediately through proper washing with soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer immediately after a cough or sneeze.
Section 7, says that employers may test its workers for COVID-19 however testing kits used and procured shall be the responsibility of the employer.
Section 10, further states that “The employer shall provide the DOLE through its Regional Office copy furnished DOH, monthly reporting of illness, disease and injuries utilizing the DOLE Work Accident/Illness Report Form (WAIR).
Infographics on these Guidelines created by DTI can be viewed below: