More retailers getting safety seal certification

Over 115 retail establishments have been granted Safety Seal Certification, 105 disapproved, and 600 pending as government scales up reopening of the domestic economy starting next week, according to Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez.

At the virtual “Laging Handa” public briefing in Malacanang, Lopez said that DTI, which is in charge for retail establishments such as service shops, maintenance and other retailers, has found most of the big establishments compliant. The small retailers, he said, they just have to ensure compliance with the minimum health protocols to be granted the Safety Seal.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon M. Lopez

So far, the DTI has approved over 115 retail establishments, 600 pending for inspection, and 105 disapproved. But, there could be more approved establishments because other agencies have their own jurisdictions. For instance, the Department of Tourism issues the Safety Seal Certification for DOT-related enterprises, the Department Interior and Local Government for government agencies, and the local governments for restaurants in their respective localities.

For the 105 that have been disapproved, he said, does not mean they cannot get the safety seal. “They just have to comply with the minimum health protocols,” he said.

Lopez added that inspection of applicant establishments is still ongoing and urged retailers to simply file their applications online, do their self-assessment and once ready request for DTI inspection to get the safety seal certification.

Establishments applying for the Safety Seal Certification need to have valid Mayor's Permit, registration with or LGU-mandated digital contact tracing app., and compliance with minimum public health standards. But an establishment can still operate even without having the Safety Seal Certification, which is only voluntary. Having the seal, however, assures consumers adn the general public that the business is compliant with the minimum health protocols set by the government.

As more economic sectors have been approved for reopening like indoor sports, gyms and fitness centers, and museums starting next week, June 16, Lopez expects a continued path towards full recovery.

For the gyms alone, the DTI has a record of over 2,000 establishments with more than 22,000 workers.

He urged these indoor gyms to get certified because the government is strictly monitoring the compliance for proper ventilation.

For seniors 65 years and above and fully vaccinated with the last dose done in the last two weeks, he said, all they have to do is carry their vaccination card issued by their LGUs and present it to the establishment that they want to do business with.

The LGU-issued vaccination card would be replaced in a month’s time by the Department of Information and Communications Technology with a more permanent digital card or QR system Vaccination Card.

He, however, said that mobility will be limited within the zone. This means that NCR residents can move around within the region up to Laguna, Rizal, and Cavite. Interzonal travel is allowed only if it is point to point, say from one's residence in Manila straight to a hotel in Batangas.

The government is targetting to achieve herd immunity by end this year with the arrival of more vaccines.