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

Marje Pelayo   •   April 24, 2020   •   3085

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)

Metro Manila, 7 other areas to end year 2020 under GCQ

Marje Pelayo   •   December 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte announced on Monday evening (November 30) the new round of community quarantines from December 1 until December 31, 2020.

Aside from Metro Manila, other areas placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) include Batangas, Iloilo City, Tacloban City, Lanao Del Sur, Iligan City, Davao City and Davao Del Norte.

Meanwhile, the rest of the country remains under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) until the end of the year.

Given the new restrictions, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III reminds all agencies and local government units to intensify information campaigns on health protocols this holiday season.

“Mabuting manatili sa bahay, at magkaroon lamang ng maliit na salo-salo kasama ang immediate family members upang maiwasan tayong mahawa at ang ating mga kapamilya, (It would be best to just stay at home and have a small buffet with immediate family members to avoid getting infected and transmission among family members),” said Duque.

This was supported by Interior Secretary Eduardo Año adding that it would be best to refrain from large gatherings like partying and caroling. 

“Iyon pong family reunion ay considered mass gathering, katulad po ng sinabi ni Sec. Duque, immediate family lang sana ang mag-celebrate at kailangan po ang minimum health standard ay ipatutupad (Family reunions are considered mass gathering. Like what Sec. Duque said, it would be best to celebrate with immediate family and minimum health standards are observed),” he said.

Duque said the Department of Health (DOH) is now preparing its facilities in anticipation of the the surge in COVID-19 cases after the holidays.

For President Duterte, still the best preventive measures against any infectious disease is proper hand washing, wearing of facemask, and staying at home. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Davao City reverted to GCQ until Nov. 30 – Palace

Robie de Guzman   •   November 20, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Davao City has reverted to general community quarantine (GCQ) following the increase of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the city, Malacañang announced Friday.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Davao City will be under GCQ beginning Friday, November 20 until November 30.

A one hospital command center will also be established in the city to ensure an “efficient referral system” as private hospitals are mandated to increase their ward bed occupancy up to 30%.

“Further, efforts will be made to address the shortage of nurses in health facilities and to provide additional high-oxygen cannulae, Favipiravir (Avigan), Remdesivir, medical equipment, among others,” Roque said in a statement.

“Accommodation establishments will be tapped to serve as quarantine facilities for health workers as well as the isolation of positive cases of COVID-19,” he added.

Law enforcement agencies are likewise directed to assist in the enforcement of granular lockdowns upon affected communities or clusters, and if necessary, deploy personnel in the city.

Melquiades Feliciano, deputy chief implementer of the National Task Force (NTF) against COVID-19 for the cities and Bacolod and Cebu, has been assigned to head the teams to be deployed in Davao City to assist in the response activities.

Data from the Department of Health Region 11 showed that as of Nov. 19, Davao City has recorded 5,520 COVID-19 cases, 1,874 of which are active.

The regional Inter-Agency Task Force earlier declared Davao City as a restricted local government unit which limits the movement and entry of travelers who will be visiting the city by either air, land, or sea to curb the rising coronavirus infections.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) No. 63 which details the requirements and the list of authorized persons outside residence allowed entry to the city. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Lucille Lloren)

GCQ extended in Metro Manila until end of November

Maris Federez   •   October 27, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila will remain under general community quarantine (GCQ) until November 30.

President Rodrigo Duterte made the announcement in a taped address to the nation aired on Tuesday (Oct. 27), after meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

The President has also decided to keep Batangas, Iloilo City, Bacolod City, Tacloban City, Iligan City and Lanao del Sur under GCQ until the end of November.

Nevertheless, local government units still have until October 28 to appeal to the IATF on the quarantine classification of their respective areas for the next month.

Metro Manila mayors have earlier stated that they want to keep the GCQ status for the NCR until the end of the year. They, however, applied eased restrictions on movement, travel, and business.

Except for Navotas City, the whole of NCR is implementing lesser curfew hours to allow more businesses to recover.

The Philippines had been under community quarantine classification since March due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. —(with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

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