Press Releases
DOLE and DTI Sets Workplace Rules to Combat COVID-19

Iloilo City — With the community quarantine coming to a close, the Department of Labor

and Employment and the Department of Trade and Industry released the Interim

Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19.

To reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in workplaces, workers and employers in the

private sector are mandated to observe strict health and safety protocols especially

those operating during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and General

Community Quarantine (QCQ) period.

In the guidelines signed by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez and Labor Secretary

Silvestre Bello III, workers and employers are required to follow precautionary measures

aligned with the health standards set by the Department of Health. The guidelines

imposed are part of the holistic government approach in addressing the COVID-19

pandemic.

Director Cyril L. Ticao of DOLE 6 said that all employers and workers must subject

themselves to temperature check, accomplish the health symptoms questionnaire and

wear face masks before they can enter the workplace.

Employers shall provide the appropriate face masks and other appropriate PPEs for

their workers, according to the guidelines.

If a worker has a temperature of >37.5°C, even after a 5-minute rest, or if his response

in the questionnaire needs further evaluation by the clinic staff, the person shall be

isolated in an area identified by the company and will not be allowed to enter the

workplace premises.

Clinic staff assigned to assess the workers held in the isolation area shall be provided

the appropriate medical grade PPEs by the establishment which shall include but not

limited to, face masks, goggles/face shields, and or gloves.

The guidelines likewise mandates that equipment or vehicle entering the hub

operational area must go through a disinfection process.

Employers and workers are also reminded to observe physical distancing, disinfection

protocols and proper cough etiquette at all times. Washrooms and toilets must have

sufficient clean water and soap and sanitizers must be made available at specific areas

where workers pass. Eating in communal areas is also discouraged and if this is not

possible, the employer shall ensure a one worker per table and one-meter distance per

worker set-up.

Ticao said the guidelines also mandates that prolonged face to face interaction between

workers and with clients are discouraged. Online systems are highly encouraged to be

utilized for clients including the use of videoconferencing.

Ticao also reminded that visitors must accomplish the ‘Visitor’s Health Checklist Form’

which can be accessed at https://www.facebook.com/DOLERegion6/ or http://

ro6.dole.gov.ph.

As to meetings, those which need physical presence must be reduced and the

participants kept to a minimum. Lengthy discussions shall be done through

videoconferencing.

Private establishments are also mandated to implement alternative work arrangements,

such as working-hour shifts, work from home (WFH), where feasible, and on a rotation

basis. Where feasible, shuttle services and/or decent accommodation on near-site

location should also be provided to lessen travel and people movement. Company

policies for the prevention and control of COVID-19 in consultation with workers must

also be established.

Safety officers should also be designated 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.

Ticao also reminded that employers must provide the DOLE through its Regional Office,

copy furnished DOH, the monthly reporting of illness, diseases, and injuries utilizing the

DOLE Work Accident/Illness Report Form (WAIR). Establishments in Region 6 may

send their WAIR reports to dole6wair@gmail.com.

Aside from this, the guidelines likewise mandate companies to put up a COVID-19

Hotline and Call Center for employees to report if symptomatic.

In the event that a worker is suspected of having COVID-19, the worker must

immediately be isolated or brought to the nearest hospital, if needed. Ticao said that

employers may test workers for COVID-19. Testing kits used and procured shall be the

responsibility of the employer.

In the case of most ‘at risk’ workers and vulnerable groups, or those 60 years old or of

any age with co-morbidities or pre-existing illness, such as hypertension, diabetes,

cancer, or with immunocompromised health status; or with high-risk pregnancy,

employers are highly encouraged to implement a work from home scheme for these

workers. Work agreement should be developed which would detail the deliverables from

these employees and there shall be no diminution in wages or benefits.

“DTI and DOLE shall extend assistance and technical support to all workplaces,

employers and workers in complying with the interim guidelines,” Ticao assured.

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2020-05-11
Dir. Cyril L. Ticao
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