Over 45,000 establishments issued safety seal certifications

Published October 18, 2021, 2:42 PM

by Chito Chavez

A total of 45,649 safety seal certifications out of the 86,159 applications were issued by the various government agencies to various establishments nationwide.

This means that these establishments will be allowed an additional 10 percent operational capacity, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said Monday, Oct. 18.

Of the 12,652 safety seal certifications issued to the Metro Manila establishments, Malaya noted that the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) gave 4,152; Department of Tourism (DOT) handed 1,085; Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) approved 541; the DILG issued 12,154 with the local government units (LGUs) providing the bulk of the said certificates at 27,717.

With 9,794 denied applications, Malaya in a news briefing stated that merely applying for the safety seal certification does not guarantee its automatic approval as the establishment has to pass the safety seal guidelines set by the government.

He noted that the safety seal certification issued by the concerned agencies is very important for the businessmen since it gives them an additional operation capacity.

On the first day of the alert level 3 implementation in Metro Manila on Oct. 16, it was observed that there were huge crowds that flocked the malls, parks, supermarkets and other public places raising fears of a coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) rebound.

When pressed, Malaya disclosed that no untoward incidents occurred in the initial implementation of the alert level 3 in Metro Manila but admitted the sudden influx of people in parks, plazas, public gardens and scenic viewpoints due to the relaxed restrictions.

“Ngunit pinapaalala natin sa ating mga kababayan na ito po (establishments and public scenic viewpoints) ay up to 30 percent lamang ng operational capacity nitong mga lugar na ito. So kailangan po nating sundin ito (health protocols) at pangalawa nga po ay gamitin po natin yung ating pagmamahal sa bansa at sana po ay umiral ang disiplina (But we are reminding the people that these places are allowed only up to 30 percent operational capacity. So we need to observe this and second we should show our love for the country and hopefully discipline prevails),’’ Malaya said.

The DILG spokesperson reminded the public that there should be no clustering adding that adherence to the minimum public health standards should be strictly followed like wearing of face masks and face shields.

On the issue that the NCR mayors were not consulted in the enforcement of alert level 3, Malaya explained that the position of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) was coursed through Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos who is a member of the task force.

Due to the frequent meetings and coordination among the MMDA, IATF and government agencies, Malaya said that the NCR mayors are aware of the alert level 3 guidelines that showed their full support and preparedness for the less restricted alert level.

In the same briefing, Malaya clarified that the implementation of the granular lockdowns at any alert level is part of the strategy in the system stressing that the numbers of these restrictions have gone down in recent weeks.

Malaya revealed that 303 areas were under the granular lockdown on Oct. 1 but the number decreased to 139 on Oct 15 in Metro Manila citing the dip in COVID-19 case transmission and increased number of vaccination.

The NCR localities with their number of areas under granular lockdowns include Pasay City (33), Manila (34), Quezon City (30), Pateros (27) Las Piñas (10) among others with 617 families affected under this restriction in the said 139 places.

Since the alert level system was imposed in Metro Manila, 896 areas have been placed under granular lockdowns but the number has been trimmed down to 139 at present.

In terms of the distribution of family food packs, Malaya pointed out that 30,275 costing P19.5 million were delivered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to the different Metro Manila LGUs not only in the areas under granular lockdowns but also in places where these are needed.