Over 43,000 business firms issued ‘Safety Seal Certificates’

Published October 5, 2021, 12:14 PM

by Chito Chavez

A total of 43,332 public and private establishments were issued the ‘Safety Seal Certifications’ as of Oct. 1 as part of the government’s efforts to encourage safety of the public as it gradually opens the economy amid the threat of the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).

The ‘Safety Seal’ program is a collaborated effort of the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), local government units (LGUs), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Tourism (DOT), and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

In a joint statement Tuesday, Oct. 5, the said agencies explained that the ‘Safety Seal Certification’ program indicates the compliance of establishments to the minimum public health standards (MPHS) set by the government.

DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año told the establishment owners, especially those in areas under strict quarantine restrictions, to take time in applying for the Safety Seal.

“Applying for a Safety Seal is not mandatory. However, business establishments are highly encouraged to apply since this will also help them attract customers which eventually lead to increased sales and profit,” Año said.

Meanwhile DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez noted that the certification program “is indeed beneficial to the country’s recovering economy as it boosts the confidence of consumers in going out and patronizing business in the new normal with the assurance that a business establishment is compliant with health protocols.’’

He encouraged more businesses to adopt the seal as an effective measure in curbing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“Businesses can do their share in the fight against the pandemic and create a healthy space for consumers to transact their purchases and for employees to gainfully and safely earn a living,” Lopez said.

Since its implementation in May 2021, a total of 85,731 applications were received by the issuing agencies as reported by the Safety Seal Technical Working Group (TWG).

Of these applicants, 43,332 or 50.54 percent of the applications were approved while 11.50 percent or 9,858 others were either denied or referred to the appropriate agencies with the remaining percentage representing those that are still in the inspection process.

“I commend and congratulate the establishments that have taken the lead in securing their Safety Seal certifications. This will build confidence that their respective companies are committed to ensuring the health and safety of their stakeholders and workers,” said DOLE Secretary Silvestre “Bebot” Bello III.

Pursuant to the DOH-DILG-DOLE-DOT-DTI Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 21-01 Series of 2021, otherwise known as the Implementing Guidelines of the Safety Seal Certification Program, “a business establishment is eligible to apply for a Safety Seal given that it is duly registered, adopting the Staysafe.ph or any other LGU-mandated digital contact tracing application and most importantly, strictly following and implementing the MPHS set by the government.’’

“The implementation of the Safety Seal Program is a very laudable initiative that highly reinforces our country’s response to combat COVID-19. As we gradually reopen our economy, it is important to ensure that our people are safe, and adherence to Minimum Public Health Standards (MPHS) is one vital key to this aspect,” added DOH Secretary Francisco T. Duque III. (Chito A. Chavez)