November 30, 2023

The Covid-19 pandemic has created new challenges, especially to businesses in the Cordillera.
While employers want to get their business back to normal as soon as possible, there are new guidelines and revised practices that should be followed for a safe, stable return to business.
The Department of Labor and Employment has issued interim guidelines to assist private institutions that are allowed to operate during the enhanced community quarantine and general community quarantine.
To achieve these objectives, minimum health standards should be strictly observed.
In workplaces, proper physical distancing should be strictly followed between workers to be practiced to reduce transmission and minimize contract rate; workspaces will be re-arranged; workstation layout be designed to allow for uni-directional movement in walkways; encourage use of stairs; limit number of people in enclosed spaces; online systems and videoconferencing are also highly encouraged and roving officers will be present to ensure these protocols are practiced.
Along with the minimum health standards, it is necessary for employers to provide policies towards prevention and control of Covid-19 in consultation with workers. Advocacy programs should be taken from the Department of Health, World Health Organization, and other reliable sources.
Companies also have to set up a Covid-19 hotline or call center to be able to monitor employees who exhibit symptoms; and have a daily monitoring scheme of “suspect” employees.
Workers are expected to comply with all workplace measures in place for the prevention and control of Covid-19. They also need to observe proper respiratory etiquette.
Safety refers to the physical or environmental conditions of work which comply with prescribed Occupational Safety and Health Standards and which allow the workers to perform their job without or within acceptable exposure limit to hazards. Occupational safety also refers to practices related to production and work process while health means a sound state of the body and mind of the workers that enables the worker or employee to perform the job normally.