Muntinlupa City hall reduces workforce, office hours amid surge in COVID-19 cases

Published April 5, 2021, 12:40 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

The Muntinlupa City government has reduced the number of personnel that can physically report for work at the city hall complex and shortened office hours due to the surge in the number of confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases among staff.

Disinfection of a government office in Muntinlupa
(Muntinlupa City gov’t / MANILA BULLETIN)

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi signed Executive Order 13 implementing the measures starting on April 5 until further notice. The new office hours at the Muntinlupa City hall will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On April 2, Muntinlupa recorded 189 new COVID-19 positive cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 7,588 including 1,143 active and 204 deaths.

City Health Office (CHO) acting chief Juancho Bunyi recommended to the mayor the reduction in workforce at the Muntinlupa City Hall complex composed of the main building, annex, and People’s Center after recording a high attack rate of up to 211 cases per 1,000 population among employees from March 27 to April 2.

“Moreover, the COVID-19 infections of the index cases were deemed contracted from the community and were transmitted in the workplace,” the mayor’s order stated.

Fresnedi said the reduction in workforce is meant to implement intensive disinfection, testing, and quarantine measures.

On April 5, the CHO conducted a mass antigen testing of staff who reported in person for work. It is set to closely monitor all positive and probable COVID-19 cases among the workforce and implement strict isolation protocols including contact tracing.

“We ensure our constituents that the local government is enforcing preventive measures to manage and prevent risks against COVID-19 to ensure the safety of our employees and the public who will transact in the City Hall. While we are running business-as-usual, we enjoin the public to take advantage of online platforms in transacting with the local government,” said Fresnedi.

A satellite work station will be installed at the city hall quadrangle as a measure to reduce transmission of COVID-19.

Under the order, departments and offices are instructed to conduct virtual meetings and avoid person-to-person meetings, especially when it involves more than three individuals.

As of April 4, Muntinlupa has 7,820 confirmed cases including 6,378 recoveries and 209 deaths, leaving 1,233 active cases.

The city-run Ospital ng Muntinlupa recently announced a 136 percent bed capacity utilization for COVID-19-related cases as of April 4.

Muntinlupa Public Information Officer Tez Navarro said barangays were ordered to reactivate local isolation centers to accommodate asymptomatic cases and residents with mild symptoms to decongest primary health care and quarantine facilities.

The city government has started vaccinating members of A3 and A4 priority groups which include persons with comorbidities and frontline personnel in essential sectors such as uniformed personnel starting on April 5 in 12 initial vaccination centers.