October 26, 2021

The government has increased the number of people who can stay in business establishments.

With the release of the latest joint recommendations from five government regulatory agencies, businesses that are allowed to launch in their communities and are given a safety seal will be awarded a ten percent increase in operating or venue capacity.

The latest directive is found in the “Supplemental Guidelines Relative to the Implementing Guidelines of the Safety Seal Certification Program,” which was signed on Oct. 1 by the heads of the Departments of Health (DOH), Labor and Employment (DOLE), Interior and Local Government (DILG), Tourism (DOT), and Trade and Industry (DTI).

The increase in permitted occupancy, according to DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, is intended to encourage firms to apply for the safety seal and tighten health practices in establishments and workplaces.

“This seal is one of the government’s steps to relaunch the economy under the new normal and expand job prospects by making business reopenings more sustainable for operation,” Lopez explained.

Contact tracing applications from local government units (LGUs) and other contract tracing applications will be considered in place of StaySafe.PH while DILG works on integrating StaySafe.PH with other contract tracing applications.

In the absence of the StaySafe.ph digital contact tracing application, DILG Secretary Eduardo Ao indicated that the LGU-mandated applications will be accepted for those establishments or offices applying for the safety seal certification.

“To effectively prevent the transmission of Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019), the DILG is merging the StaySafe.ph application with other existing applications established by local government units (LGUs),” Ao stated.

The additional guideline also identified the Department of Labor and the local governments as the issuing authorities for the information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) and dentistry clinic safety seals.

Furthermore, the additional guideline mandates that businesses and workplaces appoint safety officers to be in charge of implementing public health standards in their respective locations.

“Our safety officers play a critical role in increasing our companies’ overall economic output. Work quality and productivity improve when workers are assured of their safety and health at their various workplaces, according to Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

Safety officers who have not yet completed the required occupational safety and health (OSH) training can do so for free at DOLE or any other DOLE-accredited training organization.

The government’s endeavor to revitalize the tourist industry, one of the hardest-hit sectors during the epidemic, is bolstered by the safety seal of tourism-oriented enterprises and locations, in addition to the DOT accreditation, Tourism Secretary Berna Romulo-Puyat said.

“These new rules in the safety seal certification program provide the public more confidence to patronize complying tourist-oriented establishments while safeguarding everyone’s health and safety,” she noted.

Some health measures are also listed in the additional standards, such as promoting safe facemask disposal through signage in authorized facilities.

The government strongly advised owners of air-conditioned indoor facilities and workplaces to purchase carbon dioxide monitors in order to better monitor ventilation levels.

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