HR Talk: 8 Questions from the DTI and DOLE Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 Answered so You Don’t Have to Read the 22-Page Document Dropped Last August 15

The DOLE and DTI released the following Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04, Series of 2020 (DTI-DOLE Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04-A-3) last August 15 afternoon and created a big ruckus in the Philippine business and HR community for being non strategic, not friendly to businesses, and impracticality. Reading through 22 pages of it, I realized that many of what was written was pretty much similar to the previous version, the DOLE DTI Interim Guidelines on the Prevention of COVID-19.

However, there were a few critical issues that were different, mostly because they discuss more specific details on COVID-19 testing, contact tracing, and case reporting, which was absent in the previous documents.

DTI and DOLE Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19

1. Who is Covered by the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC)?

2. What Are Employers Required to Provide This Time Around (Hint: The Face Shield is the LEAST of our Problems)?

3. What to do with the Most-At-Risk Population (MARP) for COVID-19 in the workplace? 

4. What’s the Policy for Mass Gatherings?

5. Are eating in canteens not allowed anymore?!

6. Any There Any Change in Policy in Business Operations?

7. Any Updates on What Happens When Somebody is Suspected Positive?

8. What are the Two Most Alarming Regulations Required on the New Joint Circular No. 20-04 that will Bankrupt More Businesses and Rock the Country Deeper into Recession?

———————————————————————-

1. Who is Covered by the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC)?

All private companies regardless of type, including those inside special economic zones, are covered in this memo. Walang takasan, peeps!

2. What Are Employers Required to Provide This Time Around (Hint: The Face Shield is the Least of Our Problems)?

a. Increase the company’s psycho-social and mental health support via:

  • Work-life balance through proper scheduling and workforce rotation
  • In-house psycho-social and mental health support
  • If unavailable, a referral system to mental health specialists in an accredited health facility or tele-medicine services, or
  • Through the National Center for Mental Health Crisis Hotline at 0917 899 8727 (0917 899-USAP) and 02-7989 8727 (02-7989-USAP)

b. Practice minimum health standards altogether which now include:

  • Masks: Masks with vents should not be used, and cloth mask is ok so long as they are cleaned and washed daily.
  • Face shields: Must cover the sides and entire face. Ideally but not required to extend to the ears and below the ears. No visor face shields should be allowed.

face shieldsIMPORTANT: Face Masks and Face Shields should always be worn together when interacting with another person. It may be removed according to the demands of work or when the occupational safety and health of the employee requires it.

FACESHIELD 1

  • Social Distancing: Minimum of 1 meter apart at all times.
  • Frequent Disinfection: Hand washing of soap and water OR application of alcohol-based disinfectants:
    • Hand washing stations, soap and sterilizers or hand drying equipment shall be available to everybody coming in the office
    • Should be placed in strategic locations in workplace which include corridors, hallways, conference areas, elevators, entry points, bathroom, canteen, personal work spaces, company vehicles and shuttles

c. MANDATED: Display of signages reminding people to:

  • Practice hand-washing and other hygienic practices:
    hygiene
  • Conduct surface disinfection in work stations before, during and after shift
  • Discourage sharing of personal items at work

d. Provide shuttle services if you’re a medium to large sized company:

Medium- to large-sized employers with total assets above Php 15 million are now “enjoined” to provide shuttle services to employees:

shuttle

IMPORTANT: DTI says that the shuttle may be offered for a fee or for a reasonable fare if not similar to LTFRB-approved public transport fare after proper consultation with the employees.

IMG_6249
Source: DTI Facebook

  • Who are companies with total assets above Php 15 million? Wikipedia defines these companies as follows:
    SME
    This means if you have 100 employees and above, you are required to provide shuttles for your employees.
  • “Enjoined”: Legal definitions as follows:To order someone to do something or to prohibit someone from doing something (Example: When the court issues an injunction stopping you from revealing trade secrets, this is an example of a time when the court enjoins).
    • In other words, this policy of providing shuttle services to employees is now mandated. Grabe, pina-English lesson pa tayo!:
      enjoined
  • Rules while in the vehicle:Passengers should still follow the minimum health standardsEmployees are required to avoid talking, eating, taking phone calls, or removing their face mask+shields while inside the vehicle. You can print by yourself and display in visible areas of vehicle the following signages:“No Talking””No Eating””No Taking Phone Calls”

e. Enforce adequate ventilation inside the workplace and shuttle services:

  • Inside the workplace: Natural airflow — open widows, doors and turning off air-conditioning is highly encouraged. If possible, install exhaust fan, install air filtration devices or re calibrate HIVAC systems. Author’s Note: In a building, how practical is it to turn off the aircon and open the windows? Is it not worse if you’re just going to depend on the exhaust fan?
  • Inside the shuttle: Open the car windows at least 3 inches when possible. Physical distancing of at least one meter. Proper disinfection before and after each vehicular use.

f. Mandatory advocacy awareness programs for what’s going on and how the company is actively preventing COVID-19 to be attended by employees and management.

g. Designate smoking areas where 1 meter apart pa din, and there’s no talking inside smoking areas.

smoking

g. Employers should minimize the duration of customer interactions to less than 15 minutes as much as possible.

3. What to do with the Most-At-Risk Population (MARP) for COVID-19 in the workplace? 

The Joint Memorandum Circular reiterates that high-risk people who include the following:

  • Senior citizens
  • Pregnant women
  • Individuals with underlying health conditions
  • Those below 21 years old

2-whyareolderpSource: The Conversation, “Why are older people more at risk of coronavirus?” March 17, 2020

Should be placed at WFH (Work from Home) arrangements if possible. If they are asked to report, they must first provide a Medical Certificate of Fit to Work and can only stay a limited amount of hours in the workplace.

If there’s no work to be done, then they should stay at home. Labor Law allows floating of up to six months for direct hires. If they work, they should get paid. If they don’t work, they don’t need to get paid. In other words, this is not a good time to get pregnant.

Labor Advisory No. 4

4. What’s the Policy for Mass Gatherings?

Still the same. Check out the risk classification of workplace locality as defined by IATF’s risk severity grading — 10% of seating capacity for meeting rooms in high/moderate risk areas such as confined spaces, and a max of 50% seating capacity for open areas.mass
Source: DOH Administrative Order No. 15, Series of 2020

IMG_6250Source: DTI Facebook

Video conferencing shall always be used if there’s a large number of employees attending and/or for meetings lasting over 15 minutes.

zoom

Safety officer must ensure minimum public health standards are followed at all times.

5. Are eating in canteens not allowed anymore?!

ABS-CBN released the following infographic which is not really accurate if you read the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04, Series of 2020:

bawal

Actually, if the JMC was to be followed, here’s the actual wordings used:

“Employers shall adopt staggered meal schedules to further restrict contact among its employees. Eating alone in the workstation is highly encouraged.

Dining in canteens may be ALLOWED provided that employees shall strictly comply with the physical distancing of at least one (1) meter and shall be prohibited from talking with each other. Employers are required to provide signages, physical barriers, and such other means to ensure compliance with these protocols.

canteen Image Source: Xinhua News

Please note that companies can be creative with their use of barriers. Acrylics are not the only things you can use. This canteen used boxes placed on top of stands.

To ensure compliance with the physical distancing requirements, employers may set up makeshift dining areas to complement canteens in the workplace.
a. Masks should be immediately worn after eating.
b. Use of communal items such as, but not limited to, dipping sauces and
condiments, utensil dispensers, and straw dispensers shall be prohibited.
c. Serving of buffet meals and other similar set-ups shall be prohibited.”

So yes, pwedeng mag-canteen. Pwedeng mag smoke in designated area, so long as social distancing is followed.

6. Any There Any Change in Policy in Business Operations?

THERE ARE CHANGES IN:

a. Employers shall give employees access to telemedicine services, either through an HMO, employer-initiated telemedicine services or Barangay Health Center, regardless of work arrangements

  • Medium to large private company (e.g., over 100 employees) are strongly encouraged to provide their own telemedicine services in the absence of an HMO

b. Isolation Room is more detailed:

  • Malls and buildings should have at least ONE isolation room near the entrances.
  • Medium to large companies (with total assets of Php 15 million), or buildings with multiple tenants are ENCOURAGED to designate one isolation room for every 200 employees. This room should be other than the company clinic, has adequate ventilation and must be situated near the entrance or in a nearby facility.
    • Face shields and face masks should be worn at all times
    • Isolation area personnel must wear the following PPE including:
      • Disposable gown
      • Face shield
      • Medical grade mask
      • Gloves
    • Room should be disinfected once every two hours and/or immediately after any infected or confirmed COVID-19 leaves the area.
    • If you can’t have a separate isolation room, you may contact the Barangay LGU for immediate referral of employees who requires isolation.
    • Who should be isolated? Employees who have:
      • Sinat or fever
      • Presence of flu-like symptoms
      • Any “Yes” answer to the Health Declaration or
      • Exposure history to a suspected COVID-19 case
  • Company protocols to transport the symptomatic employees to the nearby health facility are in place.

c. Visitors have a different Contact Tracing Form as follows:

Previously, we have asked clients and visitors to fill up the Health Questionnaire Form. This updated contact tracing form do not include the health questions anymore. For simplicity, you may use this form, or use this format for your logbook:

Contact Tracing Formd. Employers should establish an OSH Committee in accordance with RA No. 11058 and the DOLE Department Order No. 198, Series of 2018.

  • The OSH Committee or Safety Officer shall oversee the monitoring of the minimum public health standards for COVID-19 prevention in the workplace and this JMC.
  • If 2 or more private establishments is housed in the same building, a joint OSH Committee shall also be established to share resources of the implementation of the comprehensive OSH Program.
  • DOLE, DTI and the LGU’s Health and Sanitation Office shall strictly monitor compliance with this JMC through inspection. If there is non-compliance, the company shall be TEMPORARILY CLOSED until the prescribed minimum health guidelines is complied to.

inspection

THERE ARE NO CHANGES IN:

a. All employees must continue to fill up Health Declaration Form or any digital interaction.

Visitor’s Health Checklist

Visitors Checklist
Downloadable Form Here: VISITOR’S HEALTH CHECKLIST – General.

REMINDER: Personal data collected from the Health Declaration Form should be disposed properly after 30 days of accomplishment.  

b. Security staff or any responsible personnel will still screen the form and perform a temperature check.

scan

Source: Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04, Series of 2020

If the answer is “YES” or if temperature is above 37.5 degrees C, they are sent to the workplace isolation area for further evaluation to Safety Officer.

IMPORTANT: If the staff has a fever, he/she should not be asked to report to work na lang.   

c. Those Who are Under Home Quarantine are Still No Work No Pay

Nope, same as before. If worked, with pay. If not worked, without pay

Labor Advisory No. 4

But the DOLE and DTI were nice enough to remind us that we have the following options if we test positive:

  • If hospitalized, there’s Philhealth following Philhealth Rules and Regulations
  • SSS offers SSS Sickness Benefit and the Employee Compensation Benefits Program (EC) if you are indeed sick
  • Employers are highly encouraged but not mandated to provide sick leave benefits, supplemental pay allowance to those who are undergoing 14-day home quarantine

7. Any Updates on What Happens When Somebody is Tested Positive?

a. Identification of Suspected COVID-19 Case:

Here is when a person becomes a suspected COVID-19 case:

  • If the worker answers “YES” to any item on the Health Declaration Form or digital iteration.
  • If he/she has a temperature greater than 37.5 degrees Celsius. If it’s only 37.5 degrees Celsius, the worker must be placed in an isolation room to be assessed by doctor or nurse. Please see the table:

scan

Source: Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04, Series of 2020

Terms defined here:

If he is suspect, he should be placed in the isolation room. They should always keep their face masks and face shields during isolation at all times. Isolation area personnel must wear PPE when attending to the symptomatic employee. Company must have protocol to transport suspected COVID-19 patient to the nearest health facility for Swab Testing.

Those who are SYMPTOMATIC should be directed to either of the following:

  • Primary Health Care Facility: For example, barangay health center, infirmaries, private clinics and hospitals, or
  • Telehealth consultation. Referral networks should be established.
  • DOH through its hotline 1555 for guidance on the handling and referring symptomatic employees. 

If the COVID-19 patient is in critical condition, you can call the One Hospital Command Center so they can help you find a medical facility to take the patient in:

img_5624

b. Reporting – There are now clear guidelines on where to report COVID-19 positive workers:

wai

  • It will be the LGU NOT the Employer who shall report the case to the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit using the Event-Baesd Surveillance System of the Epidemiology Bureau of DOH.

c. Contact Tracing

Please refer to DOH Memorandum No. 2020-0189, “Updated Guidelines on Contact Tracing of Close Contacts of Confirmed Coronavisur Disease (COVID-19) Cases”

  • The last version of guidelines did not specify the definition of “Close Contact.” Now, Close Contact is defined as a person who had:
    • Exposure to a suspect or positive COVID-19 patient 2 days before, or
    • Exposure to a suspected COVID-19 patient within 14 days from the time he started having symptoms or
    • Face-to-face contact with a confirmed case within ONE meter, for more than 15 minutes, with or without a mask or
    • Direct physical contact with a confirmed case (e.g., jowa, parents, neighbor, etc.)  or
    • Direct care for a patient with probably probable or confirmed COVID-19 case without PPE

Now, business are asked to do contact tracing by checking the CCTV and/or the Health Questionnaire, identifying those who had close contact with confirmed case. Those who was with the employee who was confirmed positive via RT-PCR must undergo a 14-day quarantine period. Employers are encouraged to give WFH opportunities if possible.

d. COVID-19 Testing

This is the difference as well — All employees experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and those who are close contacts must undergo RT-PCR testing (Section D. COVID-19 Testing, #3-A). Company must inform LGU with jurisdiction over the workplace and the respective residence and close contacts BEFORE testing for monitoring purposes.

The Joint Memo Circular dictates that only RT-PCR is used. There is no more mention of the use of rapid or anti-body tests for employees.

IMPORTANT: The COVID-19 Testing of the employee is charged to the Employer. However, while the circular state that those with close contact to the COVID-19 must undergo RT-PCR Testing, there is no policy that the Company will pay for them if they are not employees of the company. 

e. Disinfection of the Workplace

cleaning

If there is even one confirmed case of COVID-19 in the workplace, the facility should be:

  • Disinfected with a disinfectant solution (0.5% bleach solution). They recommend the use of disinfection specialists.
  • The building must be locked down for 24 hours to lessen transmission towards the disinfection team. Another 24 hours after disinfection. So that’s a closedown of 48 hours.
  • All doors and windows should be opened for maximum ventilation. The building may be re-opened 24 hours after disinfection.

f. Where Will the Confirmed Cases Be Quarantined?

Please see table below for a guide on what facility is recommended for different type of patients:

facility
Source: Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04, Series of 2020

g. After the 14-Day Quarantine

Those without symptoms can return to work after 14 days without testing. As mentioned in the Circular, RT-PCR or Antibody-based Tests is NOT required or recommended for ASYMPTOMATIC employees returning to work. A local health officer or OSH physician may clear asymptomatic employees before they physically return to work.

Those with symptoms shall undergo 14 days of quarantine.  It is the employee’s responsibility to get a Certificate of Quarantine Completion from the step-down facility or local health office, as per Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Disease (PSMID) Guidelines on Return-to-Work. A step-down care facility is any DOH or LGU identified facility such as the Temporary Treatment Mega Facility (TTMF) for recovering COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized but were not yet COVID-19 free and hence are transferred to TTMF.

JMC

Source: Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04, Series of 2020, DTI and Dole Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19

The closest I saw for the Certificate of Quarantine Completion from the step-down facility or local health office was as follows – if you have any recent certificate, please PM me:

quarantineSource: OFWs Struggle through Prolonged Quarantine in Gov’t ‘VIP Treatment’, Rappler, May 2020

8. What are the Two Most Alarming Regulations Required on the New Joint Circular No. 20-04 that will Bankrupt More Businesses and Rock the Country Deeper into Recession?

a. Employers are now asked to have that the following PRIORITY workers undergo RT-PCR (Swab) Test regularly, and Employees must not pay for it: 

a. Once Every 4 Weeks: All employees in the hospitality and tourism sectors in tourist zones
b. Once every 3 Months:

  1. All manufacturing company employees in economic zones located within Special Concern areas
  2. All public service providers in economic zones located within Special Concern areas
  3. Frontline and Economic Priority Workers who work in high public and private priority sectors; have high interaction and exposure to the public; AND (3) live or work in Special Concern Areas, specifically:

Mass testing

Employers are HIGHLY ENCOURAGED to regularly send their employees for testing once every 3 months.

Here are the exact words:

Dikarte Moves: If you can get it for free from the LGU, do so. 🙂

Why this is Alarming?

If you don’t coordinate and get it for free, employers must pay to be compliant.

While many of the policies look good on paper, having already facilitated the swabbing done in at least two companies this August, I know implementation will be a complete mess. The policies look good on paper, but executing them is another story.

For one, there is no cheap RT-PCR Test. This might bankrupt companies whose sales are not even 50% pre-COVID-19.

The cheapest I know of cost Php 3,000. St. Luke’s QC charges Php 13,000 a pop. Multiply that with 100 workers, that’s already a cost of Php 300,000 on tests alone every 3 months. A lot of companies are already at its last stages, and this is just the nail that will kill them. Here are the list of hospitals that offer RT-PCR/Swab tests:

RTPCRDownloadable Excel: List of Hospitals for Swab Test

RED CROSS PHILIPPINES (Php 4,000.00 for Swab Test) – Needs appointment

Address: 37 Edsa Corner Boni Avenue, Mandaluyong City, 1550
(Along the Edsa, in front of Robinson Forum)

Red Cross

Need to schedule first, call 1158 for schedule. There is no walk-ins available.

There’s also this service but number can’t be reached. Putting it here so you know php3,000 for a swab is possible:

Two, it places the burden for companies to test the staff regardless on whether they have symptoms or not. It will delay the results of everyone since there’s so many people testing unnecessarily. 

This policy will flood the hospital, clinics and testing centers with people do not even have symptoms and should not be prioritized for testing. Having everyone else get tested will jump-pack the clinics, place those who actually need to be tested in the far side of priorities, and will bring delays in the release of results to those who actually need it.

Presently, it takes me 3 days to schedule a swab test. Results come out in 5 working days. If all employees are tested, this will cause even more delays in the release of results. So instead of 5 working days, it may go up to 10 working days because mahaba ang pila.  While swabbing is quick, correct and careful analysis of results will not, thus causing a backlog on the release of results.

Swabbing line

Three, due to the delays, the test results will be unreliable by the time it comes out.

Tests only capture whether you are sick at that specific point in time. After you leave the clinic, you can still get sick. And the biggest problem of RT-PCR tests, you can’t get the results in 24 hours. The shortest time is 3 days. The longest time is 14 days.

swab

By the time you get tested and your results come out — either you have already been out of commission/work for at least the time waiting for them to get your swab results released, or if you’re still going to work because you don’t have any symptoms, EVEN IF YOU TEST POSITIVE, you’re actually no longer as contagious. Because unlike other countries where Swab Test results come out in 24 hours, here in the Philippines, it takes 5 days currently (and longer if workers are now required to be tested)!

See Dr. Edsel Salvana’s chart below:

edsel 2

Given the delay in the release of results, do you still need to undergo 14 day home quarantine? Would that not be redundant?

In the end, all this testing will just increase the number of confirmed cases, flood our clinics with people who will want to get tested, flood the facilities of those who need to be housed because they are positive and don’t have a separate bathroom in the house, and stop those who really need medical care from getting fast and adequate help.

b. This Joint Memorandum Circular No. 20-04, Series of 2020, DOLE and DTI Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 discriminates medium to big-sized businesses into more red-tape, which may very well cause many businesses to close down.

close down

The bias against medium- to large-sized employers with total assets above Php 15 million is clear in this memo. Wikipedia defines these companies as follows:

SME
This means if you have 100 employees and above, you are required to spend a lot more just to keep operating in the Philippines.

The government may assume that given their size, these businesses have an endless supply of cash available to pay for the red-tape the government requires that businesses need to do to operate their businesses. Whoever wrote this may have a myopic view of the economic landscape, ignoring the fact that many of these businesses are just waiting for an excuse to close down and transfer operations in a much more business-friendly country. Overall, the Circular asked those businesses with assets above Php 15 million (or over 100 employees) the following:

a. Enjoined to provide shuttle services to their employees.

IMPORTANT: DTI says that the shuttle may be offered for a fee or for a reasonable fare if not similar to LTFRB-approved public transport fare after proper consultation with the employees, so this helps.

The problem is, many companies do not have employees who live and work in a single locality.

shuttle

For example, if you were a manpower agency with 200 people, how can you provide a shuttle for every single one of your employees? They all live far apart from each other? Who pays for the driver if the staff goes on overtime? After a certain distance, who pays for the toll?

If the staff is dispensable, the company may very well just put the staff on temporary lay-off status instead of asking the staff to come in given the headaches it would need for the staff to come to work. Last April 2020, the Philippine Unemployment Rate has already surged to a whopping 17.7%. How much more unemployment should the economy take?

unemployment

b. Encouraged to designate an isolation area of one room for every 200 employees, which shall be other than the company clinic, and must be situated near the entrance/s or in a nearby facility, for employees needing further assessment due to elevated temperature, presence of flu-like symptoms, any yes answer to the Health Declaration, or exposure history to a COVID-19 case or probable case thereof.

isolation

c. RT-PCR the suspected case and all of those employees with close contact with the COVID-19 patient.

This is very redundant and unnecessary — If you’re going to stop operations for that cluster and put everyone in 14-day home quarantine, why should you still need to find out if everybody else is positive?

hurt

FINAL WORDS

I find it alarming that such circular shows just how out-of-touch the policy makers may be towards Philippine businesses. It’s already five months of lockdown, and companies are now straining just to survive. Adding these unnecessary costs just to assuage critics do little in boosting investor confidence. Once people get tired of catering to the changing requirements of the government, it would be easier just to close shop and pay everyone separation pay, as it will be cheaper than paying for all the RT-PCR test, shuttle bus “hatid-sundo” service, HMO, telemedicine, and mental health programs.

All the chopsuey lockdowns have down us little favor in restarting the economy. Personally, business is bad… and we are all working together to survive just so I won’t fire or retrench anyone.

16.5Source: Philippine Statistics Authority

The Philippine GDP growth rate has already dropped by 16.5 percent in the second quarter of 2020; the lowest starting in 1981. While we can always excuse that it’s the pandemic’s fault, let’s not forget that Bayanihan: We Heal as One means that we all have to work together to survive this crisis through.

But if the government continues to kill the goose that lay the golden egg, what else is left? Even if we finally get the COVID-19 vaccine up and running,  who will be there to enjoy? Local businessmen who got burned and now refuse to play into the government’s game of opening up a company here in the Philippines? Foreign investors who find it easier to open businesses in Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam whose government is less temperamental? Those who are unemployed and hungry?

burning city

There is still time.

I hope the government double checks the government they hastily came up with — Some parts in my opinion were not cohesive, and halatang copied and pasted from other documents — and make the regulations a little more reasonable for badly bruised companies so at least, we still have some capital left to rebuild once we get over this uphill battle. Pero if gastos na lang ng gastos seemlessly without any plan — mahirap din mag negosyo. And mas madali na lang magsarado at mag Zumba, kaysa nakakapagod na paiba iba ng pagsunod sa policy.

zumba

Have a good weekend everyone.

REFERENCES

Read the Full Guidelines HERE: bit.ly/DTI-DOLE_JMC2004-A

Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF)

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)

Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

Department of Health (DOH)

Others

Easy DTI Inforgraphics

joint

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12 thoughts on “HR Talk: 8 Questions from the DTI and DOLE Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 Answered so You Don’t Have to Read the 22-Page Document Dropped Last August 15

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read it too. It was 22 pages so this was the best I could summarize given the length of the original document. 🙂

  1. thanks for always sharing your detailed/summarized versio. Big help to us as always!! God bless Ms Tina 🙂

  2. Hi Ms.Tina! Thank you for the very clear explanation on the memorandum. I would just like to clarify though at Sec.2, C. Reduce Contact,item no.1,employee with pre-existing illness (mostly highblood on our employees) is part of the MARP (most at risk population) do we need them to get certified pa na they are fit to work?Although we are in a FWA naman and we have HMO din to use in case they need a check up. Thanks!

  3. last wkend an employee lost senses of smell and taste, di na sya pumasok last wk then nagpa swab test sya ng weds then lumabas result today lang, positive. Nadala na sya sa govt facility for isolation/quarantine.
    questions:
    1) close contact would mean ung ksama nya sa dept or all na nasa same large office room? should all be isolated also for 14 days? kelangan ba magpa swab test all?
    2) everyday naman may disinfection sa ofis.. as in UV light, considering na long weekend, is that enough na to resume work on sept 1?
    3) how do we maintain confidentiality here when we have to trace contacts? and we have to inform the heads?
    thanks ms tina

    (ms tina please hide my details)

    1. Prior to August 15, only the suspected is RT-PCR’d and the rest of those IN THE ROOM with him that day would be placed in 14-day home quarantine. No work, no pay. Nurse will monitor symptoms. Work in the office can resume within 24 hours after disinfection. So Monday nagkasakit, Tuesday nagdisinfect, pwede nang balik sa work Wednesday. For those in home quarantine, after 14 days, pwede na bumalik sa work.

      Post August 15, the change is, all those in the room with him that day, and 2 days before are called Close Contact. They too have to be RT-PCR’d. But before you test, you need to inform the LGU of your office AND the LGU where each of these people live. It is possible that it is the LGU who will pay for the RT-PCR of the rest, not the company. Basta, hindi si employee magbayad.

      Use the health questionnaire to trace contacts. No need to make a big hoopla about it. You need to inform the heads, and yes you need to inform the LGU of your workplace and the barangay where people worked.

      Instead of 24 hour, it’s 48 hour time allowed for disinfection. Monday nangyari, call Disinfection team. Must be 24 hours from disinfection, not at onset of symptoms. Then pwede nang bumalik sa work.

      Hope this helps!

      1. Thanks so much ms tina.
        i realized there’s a question lacking on the employee questionnaire, on loss of appetite and loss of smell… that’s what the employee initially experienced.
        anyway thank you so much po..

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