Gov’t eases workforce restrictions on producers

Published April 1, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By BERNIE CAHILES-MAGKILAT

More than 50 percent of the workforce of companies producing critical products are now allowed to go back to work to increase supply of essential goods, which have been running low or out of inventory already as Luzon enters its third week of lockdown.

“Based on our meeting (Inter Agency Task Force) last Friday, we now allow over 50 percent workforce if we have to increase supply capacity for critical products,” said Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez said.

Lopez admitted that for some products are having low inventory because workers were not able to report for work for some days last week due to barangay checkpoints. The lack of workforce has resulted in limited production for about three days.

“They are now catching up (production),” said Lopez noting he went to Puregold last Thursday and found enough stocks of goods.

However, there has been no supply of loaves and bread products in supermarkets. This is despite the fact that flour millers said there is enough flour supplies at better prices. Community bakers have already urged their members to produce bread because the big bread makers supplying the supermarkets are running out of supplies.

Lopez said that companies allowed to have more than 50 percent of their workforce return to production are those identified under DTI Memorandum Circular No. 20-08. The covered enteprises include manufacturing and processing plants of basic food products, essential products, medicines and medical supplies. These are all food companies and manufacturers of soap and detergents, diapers, feminine hygiene products, tissues, wipes/toilet papers, disinfectants, medicines, vitamins, personal protective equipment, masks, and gloves.

Also covered are retail establishments; logistics service providers; hospitals and medical clinics; and, food preparations, and water refilling stations.
Delivery services are also allowed to have more than 50 percent of their workforce, whether in-house or outsourced, transporting only food, medicines and other basic necessities.

Banks and capital markets are also allowed as well as power, energy, water, IT and telecommunications supplies and facilities and waste disposal services are also included.

Export and business process outsourcing companies are also allowed to operate more than 50 percent of their workforce.

The MC also provided that movement of all cargoes (food and non-food) in the entire Luzon area shall not be unhampered. If subjected to random inspection, the movement of cargoes shall not be delayed upon presentation of the cargo manifest or delivery receipt indicating the destination, nature, and quantity of the loaded goods/cargoes.

Staff or employees in, or servicing, the covered enterprises and establishment shall be permitted to pass through control points.

If local government units are not following the rules based on the directive by President Duterte by imposing their own rules at checkpoints, Lopez said these LGUs or “provinces may suffer basic goods supply issues.”

 
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