600 establishments await Safety Seal Certificate — DTI

Marje Pelayo   •   June 11, 2021   •   217

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said there are still some 600 business establishments awaiting issuance of a Safety Seal certificate to be able to resume operations amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Over 150 establishments have been approved (for safety seal certificate), and there are 600 pending for inspection. The process is ongoing as we speak,” DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said Friday (June 11) during the regular Laging Handa briefing.

Establishments deemed compliant with the minimum health standards for the prevention of COVID-19, are given a Safety Seal certificate.

“Kailangan magpa-safety seal sila para lang masigurado that they are complying with the minimum health protocols. Especially kung indoors, very important kasi ngayon iyong ventilation,” Lopez said.

The official said among establishments that the DTI inspected, around 105 have been denied the safety seal.

“Pero hindi naman ibig sabihin na forever na hindi sila makakakuha. Pinapa-comply lang sila sa minimum health standards,” Lopez said.

Under the Joint Memorandum Circular 21-01 Series 2021 signed by the DTI, Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government , and the Department of Tourism (DOT), a Safety Seal shall apply to selected public places and government offices as well as private business establishments.

It shall be displayed on strategic spots at the entrance of establishments.

Establishments that are covered by DTI are supermarkets, groceries, membership shopping and convenience stores, construction supply or hardware stores, barbershops and salons, and service shops.


DTI: Halos 200-libong manggagawa, balik-trabaho sa ilalim ng GCQ

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Maaari nang makabalik sa trabaho ang nasa 200-libong empleyado matapos na ibalik sa general community quarantine “with heightened restrictions” ang National Capital Region (NCR) at mga karatig-lalawigan.

Ayon kay Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez, magiging daan ang paglipat sa GCQ ng NCR, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, at Laguna – tinatawag na NCR Plus – upang mapababa ang bilang ng mga nawalan ng trabaho noong kasagsagan ng enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

“As we further open the economy, we are expecting to bring back 200,000 to 300,000 jobs to lessen the number workers displaced since the start of the ECQ,” ani Lopez.

Noong nasa ilalim ng ECQ ang NCR Plus, umabot sa 1.5 milyon ang bilang ng mga Pilipino nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa coronavirus pandemic.

Nabawasan ito at naging isang milyon noong ipinatupad ang modified ECQ.

Ayon kay Lopez, sa ngayon ay aabot pa sa 700-libong manggagawa ang hindi pa rin nakakabalik sa trabaho dahil sa limitadong operasyon ng ilang establisimyento gaya ng mga restaurant, at barbershop. – RRD (mula sa ulat ni Correspondent Joan Nano)

Shift to GCQ not just yet, says DTI

Marje Pelayo   •   April 15, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — With the current number of COVID-19 infections in the country, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez believes it is not yet time to shift into a more relaxed quarantine restriction.

During Thursday’s (April 15) Laging Handa briefing, Lopez said reverting back to a more relaxed general community quarantine (GCQ) will depend on the utilization rate of major hospitals in the country.

“Kapag further bumaba ang COVID cases at bumaba ang utilization rate, maraming bakante, ibig sabihin pwede tayong magluwag ulit to GCQ,” he said.

In March, World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe expressed concern over alleged COVID-19 clustering in workplaces.

Lopez said the recent spike in the country’s COVID-19 cases shouldn’t be blamed on the return of workers because the clusters of cases in workplaces was only about 20 percent since the reopening of the economy.

“Base sa datos, ang contribution ng mga cases —  mga clusters ng ilan sa workplaces — ay around 20% lamang,” Lopez said.  “Isa nga sa observation bago nagtaas muli ang cases ay ang pagdami ng non-essential activities and gatherings.”

For this reason, the official said that when the country reverts to GCQ, he would not recommend the easing of restrictions on non-essential gatherings.

“I would think that once we move to GCQ, isa pa rin ‘yan sa ipagpapatuloy munang ipagbawal – mga gatherings na non-essential,” he said.

DTI prefers not extending NCR Plus Bubble beyond April 4

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 26, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said it is not in favor of extending the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus Bubble beyond April 4.

DTI Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said extending the stricter quarantine in NCR would not be beneficial for the economy. Castelo said businesses can still operate while individuals follow health protocols.

Kung tatanungin mo ang DTI, gusto na sana natin na maipa-open na ulit sa April 5. Hindi naman siguro natin kailangan totally isara ang mga negosyo or ang paggalaw ng tao. Dahil kung susundin natin lahat ng mandatory protocols, makakatulong pa rin iyan kapag tuloy-tuloy ang negosyo (If you’re going to ask the DTI, we prefer to open [the economy] by April 5. We may not need to close businesses or limit the public. Because as long as mandatory protocols are followed, it will still be beneficial if businesses will continue),” he said.

The recommended extension of the NCR Plus Bubble stemmed from the study of the University of the Philippines (UP) OCTA Research where it would need four months to see the effects of the restriction in the NCR and see the possible lowering of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

According to the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), Metro Manila and its neighboring cities lose around P700 million in profit due to the implementation of the general community quarantine (GCQ). -AAC (with reports from Joan Nano)


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