MANILA, Philippines – The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has warned of sanctions against establishments that are not complying with minimum public health standards and other guidelines set under the COVID-19 Alert Levels System.
In a statement, DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya said establishments violating COVID-19 safety rules and regulations may face suspension of their business permits or revocation of their safety seals.
Malaya said the DILG has been receiving complaints related to violation of operational capacity limits and failure to implement the requirement of allowing fully vaccinated individuals only in indoor establishments such as restaurants, amusement parks, recreational venues, fitness studios and gyms, etc.
“Many restaurants and indoor establishments are not checking the vaccination status of their customers and are violating the 50% operational capacity for indoor establishments and 70% operational capacity of outdoor establishments,” he said.
He said that these establishments are “strongly warned” that government will revoke the Safety Seals issued to them which will deprive them of the additional 10% operational capacity as well as lose the badge of honor that they are compliant with all public health standards against COVID-19.
For repeat violators or those without Safety Seals, the DILG said it will recommend the revocation of their business permits issued by the Local Government Unit (LGU) concerned.
The department has asked all LGUs and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to conduct more inspections of establishments to ensure compliance with COVID-19 guidelines.
LGUs were also told to issue show cause orders against violators.
“We cannot be complacent at this time. Even if cases are going down and vaccination is going up, we cannot put our guard down. Look at Europe, their vaccination rate is high but they are now undergoing a new surge. Vigilance will prevent another surge,” said Malaya.
According to Malaya, the DILG has directed all LGUs to create Inspection and Certification Teams (ICT) to lead in the granting of the Safety Seal to establishments compliant with the MPHS. Uniformed personnel of the PNP and the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) may also be deputized by LGUs to conduct Safety Seal inspections if they lack the personnel to do so.
The DILG likewise urged the public report violations to the concerned issuing authority of the Safety Seal – the DTI, DILG, DOLE, DOT or LGUs – for investigation and imposition of appropriate sanctions.
Violations by business establishments with safety seals issued by the DILG or LGUs may be reported to the DILG Public Assistance Hotline 892-50343; 892-51144; 09274226300; 09313849272.