DILG urges establishments to display safety seal as COVID restrictions ease

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) urged all establishments and offices in the country to secure and display prominently their safety seal certifications to indicate that they adhere to the minimum public health standards (MPHS) set by the government against the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19).

DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya pointed out that securing the safety seals is highly recommended as it helps assure the public “and themselves that they are compliant with minimum public health standards set by the government’’ even if it is not mandatory.

In obtaining the safety seal, the concerned parties must meet eligibility requirements like securing a mayor’s permit, StaySafe QR code, a screening or isolation area for big establishments, availability of handwashing stations and sanitizers, physical barriers and adequate air ventilation among others.

Malaya said that the establishments and offices should also display their safety seal certifications in their social media sites.

“It’s a badge of honor so the business establishment can actually display the logo of the seal in any of their social media accounts or their website... maybe we can encourage them to do so,” Malaya said in a GMA News report.

Meanwhile, the DILG and local government units LGUs) have received a total of 99,765 safety seal certification applications with 59,139 having been approved.

Malaya said the DILG, which certifies city halls, barangay halls, police and fire stations, jail facilities, as well as national government agencies, received a total of 42,548 applications. Of this, 19,092 were approved.

The LGUs that are in charge of certifying establishments within their jurisdiction received a total of 57,217 with 40,047 being approved.

The number of these safety seal certificate applications does not include establishments certified by the Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

In the data presented, Malaya noted that the DILG-issued safety seals were highest in Region I at 2,931, the National Capital Region (NCR) at 2,453, and Region V at 2,297.

On the other hand, LGU-issued safety seals were highest in NCR at 11,999; Region VII at 7,220; and Region IV-A at 4,243.

“We also have issued a stern warning to establishments that their safety seals could be revoked if they are not consistently implementing the provisions of the guidelines,” he added.

But Malaya clarified that the DILG-issued safety seals are only valid for six months.

A total of 8,107 safety seal applications were denied or referred, of which 7,653 were DILG-issued and 454 were LGU-issued.

Malaya explained that the DILG denied a lot of government offices stressing that the government must be the first to comply with regulations.

“We really make sure that all of the requirements are followed and that the documents that are submitted by the various government offices are complete para hindi tayo mapulaan ng ating mga kababayan (so that we won’t be chided by our countrymen),” Malaya said.

The DILG spokesperson said some government offices have engineering solutions or issues such as the lack of space and lack of clear ventilation. (Chito A. Chavez)