IATF: 50% of office-based workers may resume in areas under GCQ

Marje Pelayo   •   April 24, 2020   •   3450

MANILA, Philippines – About 600,000 office workers across Luzon may resume office work in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), a labor group said.

Alliance of Labor Union – Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) explained that a large number of these employees work in banks and other financial services as well as in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

On Friday (April 24), President Rodrigo Duterte approved the extension of the ECQ until May 15, 2020, in the National Capital Region (NCR) and further expanded to several provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao.

All other areas, meanwhile, will be placed under GCQ depending on the rate of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection.

According to the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID), 50% of employees in areas under GCQ may resume office work while the other 50% must opt for work-from-home (WFH) setup.

As a standard measure, ALU-TUCP Spokesperson Allan Tanjusay said establishments should disinfect and ensure the safety of offices before employees come in.

He also urged employers to provide hazard pay for their workers, and those who will be picked for home-based works should be provided with the necessary gadgets like laptop and Internet access for them to efficiently accomplish their workloads.

According to ALU-TUCP, about 2 million from the 5-million workforce in Luzon are office-based workers and have been affected by the ECQ.

Most of them are working in business districts like Makati, Ortigas, and Taguig.

Meanwhile, the labor group is also requesting the government to provide additional compensation for workers who will not be able to come to work due to the extension of ECQ. MNP (with inputs from Rey Pelayo)

IATF allows arcades, cinemas and other businesses to reopen in GCQ areas – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   February 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s task force for COVID-19 response has allowed the reopening of more businesses in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), Malacañang announced Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) has approved the reopening and further expansion of the following businesses/industries:

  • Driving schools
  • Traditional cinemas
  • Video and interactive-game arcades
  • Libraries 
  • Archives
  • Museums and cultural centers

The conduct of meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions, and limited social events at credited establishments of the Department of Tourism have also been allowed.

The IATF approved the new policy during its 99th meeting on Thursday, February 11, as authorities sought to boost the country’s economy battered by the pandemic.

“Also approved is the reopening of limited tourist attractions, such as parks, theme parks, natural sites and historical landmarks,” Roque said.

He stressed that the reopening and further expansion of businesses/industries “shall be subject to the issuance of the implementing guidelines which will provide for the operational capacity, and oversight of the appropriate regulatory agency and the concerned local government units where these businesses/industries are located.”

“These businesses/industries shall comply with the strict observance of minimum public health standards set by the Department of Health,” Roque added.

Metro Manila is under GCQ for the month of February, as well as the Cordillera Administrative Region, Batangas, Tacloban City, Davao City, Davao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and Iligan City.

The rest of the country is under modified GCQ, the loosest quarantine restriction level.

IATF allows 50% seating capacity for religious gatherings in GCQ areas – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   February 12, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The government’s task force for COVID-19 response has relaxed the restrictions on mass gatherings for religious activities in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), Malacañang announced Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) will allow up to 50 percent seating or venue capacity for religious gatherings in GCQ areas starting February 15.

The IATF approved the new policy during its 99th meeting on Thursday, February 11, Roque added.

At present, the government allows only up to 30% of venue’s capacity for religious gatherings in GCQ areas as part of the measures to curb the spread of novel coronavirus disease.

Areas under GCQ include Metro Manila, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Batangas, Tacloban City, Davao City, Davao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and Iligan City.

NCR, 6 other areas stay under GCQ; Passi City, Iloilo under ECQ

Marje Pelayo   •   February 1, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – The general community quarantine (GCQ) remains in effect in Metro Manila and six other areas following announcement of new quarantine classifications in the country.

Effective February 1, the National Capital Region along with the Cordillera Administrative Region, Batangas Province, Tacloban City, Davao City, Davao Del Norte, Lanao Del Sur and Iligan City stay under GCQ.

Meanwhile, the rest of the country will be under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ).

However, the stricter enhanced community quarantine classification in Passi City, Iloilo took effect on January 28 and will last until February 11 due to a high number of cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Mayor Stephen Palmares of the Passi City said he was prompted to order the decision as 80 percent of barangays in the city has been penetrated by the virus.

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