DTI chief urges work-from-home, workplace health standards as new business protocols

Published April 23, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Richa Noriega

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Wednesday that the adoption of minimum health standards and work-from-home arrangements should be the new protocol in business operations for the post-enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) scenario in the country.

From L to R: DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez (DTI WEBSITE / MANILA BULLETIN)
From L to R: DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez

The trade chief said that minimum health standards such as strict social distancing, wearing of face masks, presence of sanitation stations, taking body temperature, and provision of vitamins must always be observed in work and public areas.

“Likewise, the conduct of COVID-19 tests, provision of nearby accommodations and shuttle services, allowing more work-from-home arrangements, and healthcare preparedness and insurance from enterprises, should be the new normal as we ease into the new way of doing business,” Lopez said in a statement.

He said that these strict measures must be practiced to minimize the health risk among workers as essential enterprises conduct their operations.

The trade secretary underscored that these precautionary measures must be strictly required once other sectors are granted to conduct business.

“We need to have a new way of doing business to ensure that our significant gains during the ECQ and the collective efforts in flattening the curve will not be put to waste once ECQ is fully lifted,” he said.

Lopez acknowledged the importance of continuing working from home arrangements where possible to prevent the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

He added that the rise of the e-commerce industry and delivery models should be further enhanced after the ECQ.

“As we continue to collaborate with different industries, we call on the cooperation of all our partners in the private sector to maintain best practices through observing health protocols and sustaining measures for employees’ welfare. Only then can we heal as one and move forward as one,” he said.

DTI has been working with the Department of Health and Department of Labor and Employment to issue the new set of guidelines on the minimum health protocols in all business operations.