Senator Christopher “Bong” Go urged employers to implement alternative work arrangements and strictly enforce necessary health and safety protocols in the workplace to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.
Go, who chairs the Senate Committee on Health also encouraged employers both in the public and private sectors to further develop work guidelines, consistent with the minimum health standards required.
“We must live with the realities of the pandemic. Crucial sa new normal ang pagkakaroon ng sapat na safeguards laban sa sakit sa pang-araw araw nating pamumuhay,” Go said.
“Always observe social distancing, frequent hand washing and respiratory etiquette by wearing masks and face shields at all times,” Go added.
According to Go, employers should provide individualized alternative work arrangements to further mitigate the risk of an outbreak in workplaces when possible.
Go also agreed with the Department of Trade and Industry that there is a need to strictly enforce guidelines in work places.
DTI cited that the “no talking, no eating” rule, or avoiding conversation and consumption of food in confined areas is the least-observed health protocol among other policies to curb COVID-19 transmission.
Go also reiterated his appeal to the government to distribute more free masks in areas frequented by people to ensure their compliance and the safety of the community while allowing businesses to thrive.
He acknowledged that many Filipino families hit hard by the crisis do not have sufficient resources to buy masks, and urged government to prioritize the provision of free masks to poor and vulnerable sectors.
“Inoobliga natin silang magsuot ng face masks kahit halos wala na nga silang pambili ng pagkain. Uunahin siyempre nila ang bumili ng pagkain kaysa bumili ng mask. Para naman mabuhay, kailangan nilang bumalik sa trabaho pero hindi sila makakapagtrabaho nang maayos kung hindi sila protektado. Kaya dapat lang na bigyan natin sila ng libreng masks,” Go added.
Go added that the government must prioritize buying locally-made masks to save jobs, and provide it to those who cannot afford to buy their own masks to help save lives.
“If we continue to strengthen the local production of masks, we will be providing livelihood for those who lost their jobs and at the same time, we can protect our countrymen from COVID-19,” Go said.
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