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DTI: Nearly 95% of NCR firms comply with health protocols

People wearing face masks and face shields to protect themselves against the coronavirus wait outside a grocery store in Cainta, Rizal, as retailers, in compliance with health
protocols, implement social distancing by limiting the number of customers in their stores at any one time. The surge in new, active Covid-19 cases has prompted tighter protocols amid fears the much-needed economic recovery may falter.

NEARLY 95 percent of the business firms and establishments in the National Capital Region (NCR) were found to be compliant with the minimum health protocols amid the pandemic during the first quarter.

In a statement on Monday, the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (FTEB) reported that 94.7 percent of the establishments in Metro Manila are following the much-needed health protocols during the health crisis.

DTI-FTEB inspected 1,077 establishments in the first quarter in NCR, 931 of which were found complying with health protocols.

It ordered 146 firms, which were found to be in violation, to take corrective actions; 89 have responded already within the prescribed period. Forty-six of these cases were endorsed to the local government units for further investigation while the remaining 11 are awaiting corrective actions.

The violations observed among erring establishments include the lack of mandatory contact tracing, health declaration forms and thermal scanner upon entry. The Trade department reported that some personnel were also not wearing their face masks and face shields properly while on duty.

In addition, the monitoring revealed that several customers in non-compliant establishments were not following at least 1-meter physical distancing.

DTI-FTEB said that it has continued its monitoring activities on health protocol compliance as the country reverts to stricter lockdown measures from general community quarantine previously.

“By protecting our workers, our customers, and ourselves from the virus, we are also protecting and restoring our economy consciously,” Trade Undersecretary for Consumer Protection Group Ruth B. Castelo said.

Castelo, in addition, said that, “as the pandemic continues to have a significant disruptive effect on the economy and its people, a minor lapse such as non-compliance with health protocols could greatly contribute to the negative impact of the health turmoil on the country.”

DTI-FTEB Director Ronnel O. Abrenica also urged businesses to always enforce minimum health standards to avoid further spread of the coronavirus.

On Sunday, the government eased the lockdown measures in NCR, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna and Cavite to modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) effective until the end of this month. The City of Santiago and Quirino in Region 2 and Abra were also placed under the same measure.

Image credits: Bernard Testa

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