DOLE, DTI to inspect biz compliance to workplace safety in NegOr
DUMAGUETE CITY, June 19 (PIA) — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) together with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Negros Oriental will be visiting business establishments, especially those that were allowed to open under General Community Quarantine (GCQ), to check their compliance to the DOLE-DTI Interim Guidelines on the Prevention and Control of COVID-19 in Workplace.
DOLE NegOr Public Information Officer Blessie De Padua said business establishments are enjoined to craft measures related to COVID-19 prevention and protection in their workplace that are aligned with the health protocols set by the Department of Health (DOH).
DTI Provincial Director Nimfa Virtucio emphasized that these guidelines were made to protect employers, employees, and their clients from the risk of contracting COVID-19 disease.
As of June 16, restaurants, salons, and barbershops have already resumed their operations although they are only operating at 30 percent of their capacity.
For the latter two, services should only be limited to basic haircutting.
De Padua said DOLE and DTI will provide technical expertise to business establishments during these visits to capacitate them in their compliance to the said guidelines.
“In the event the visits are done already, we would be there provide technical expertise as to your compliance. For those who have complied but in our standards there’s some room for improvement, that’s the reason why we would be visiting these establishments. (It’s for) technical provision and technical expertise that our agencies might be able to provide,” De Padua explained.
Virtucio also clarified that they will not impose a sanction on non-compliant business establishments since the monitoring they will conduct is to facilitate compliance of every businesses to the interim guidelines.
“We would like to stress na ang word na gigamit namong duha is monitoring. It’s not an enforcement. Nakasabot mi na dili sayon mosunod atong mga protocol kay bag-o ni natong tanan and it will entail additional costs (We would like to stress that the term we used here is monitoring. It’s not an enforcement. We understand that it will be difficult to follow these protocols at first because this is new to us and it will entail additional costs),” Virtucio said.
“Initially, mag-monitor mi. Motan-aw mi. Naa checklist na gigama jointly with DOLE. Tan-awon namo unsa naa nimo. Ug wala pa then we will give them time to procure or to set in place. Di mi moingon na sira kay wala mo ani (We will monitor initially. We made a checklist with DOLE. We will check the measures they have put in place. In case they still weren’t able to comply with it, we will give them more time procure the necessary items or set the measures in place),” she added.
However, in the event that an establishment is still not able to adhere to the said guidelines after repeated visits by the two agencies, the Local Government Unit (LGU) will be the one to impose a sanction on the establishment.
“In the event na nagsige na mi balik-balik (pero) wala gihapon. Labi na katong mga sayon ra gihapon na pagkabuhaton, mo-recommend na mi ana ug sanction to the LGU. Ang LGU man ang maka-revoke sa ilang business permit (In the event that a business establishment still isn’t able to implement safety measures especially those simple measures stated in the guidelines even though we have visited them a couple of times, then that’s the time we will recommend to the LGU to impose a sanction. It’s only the LGU that can revoke their business license),” Virtucio said.
In line with this, De Padua reminded business owners on their duties related to COVID-19 prevention.
De Padua said employers are directed to provide necessary policies for the prevention and control of COVID-19 in the workplace in consultation with its workers, embark on information activities to educate their workers on COVID-19 protection, provide resources such as masks, soaps, and disinfectants, and must designate a safety officer to ensure that COVID-19 prevention measures are carried out in their office.
Employees also have a role in maintaining workplace safety, such as their adherence to workplace safety measures, wearing of face masks, frequent disinfecting or washing of hands, and observing proper coughing or sneezing etiquette.
The full guidelines can be accessed at the DOLE website.
Meanwhile, Virtucio assured business establishment owners that DTI and DOLE understand their situation and their plight amid the pandemic.
However, she reiterated that measures should be put in place to ensure everyone’s safety, noting that the difficult part is at the initial stage of the implementation.
“Nakasabot mi both sa among department. We are not doing this to make your lives difficult. We are doing this for everybody, sa inyohang workers, sa public, sa reputation sa inyong business, sa continued operation sa inyong business (In both our departments, we truly understand your situation. We are not doing this make your lives difficult. We are doing this for everybody. It will benefit your workers, the public, the reputation of your business, and the continued operation of your business),” Virtucio said. (ral/PIA7-Negros Oriental)