PH Economy Slowly Being Reopened – DTI Chief

May 21, 2020

Secretary Ramon Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry reports during President Rodrigo Duterte’s pubic address that the economy is slowly being reopened now. (screenshot from RTVM FB live)

Source : Philippine Information Agency, May 20, 2020

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, May 20 (PIA) – Following the directive of the President to balance the health concern and the economy as well as the need to bring back the jobs so that Filipinos will have their income back, Secretary Ramon Lopez of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported that the economy is now slowly being reopened.

During last night’s public address of President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Secretary Lopez had reported that the economy would now be reopened.

This slow reopening of the economy is to prevent the sudden spread of the coronavirus diseases 2019 (COVID 19) that may lead to the second and third wave of the spread of the virus.

Secretary Lopez, however emphasized that certain protocols are to be observed upon returning to work such as social distancing, wearing of facemask, proper handwashing, etc.

Further, one of the requirements is to have thermal scanning to know if the employee has a fever or none and it will be done regularly, he said.

A health declaration must be presented to know if the employee had a close contact, taking care or had been exposed to a COVID-19 positive or if he/she is not feeling well.

“Only employee with a suspected case shall undergo PCR testing and not all are required to undergo testing. The government did not order for all to be tested,” said Lopez.

“The testing will be covered by insurance either PhilHealth or private health insurance company and will not be shouldered by the employee. However, if the cost exceeds with the allowable cost, the company should shoulder the cost. The allowance is about P8 thousand and the PCR Test will not exceed the said amount,” Sec. Lopez added.

The DTI also suggested to the companies to have a service shuttle for their employees due to the unavailability of public transportation or to provide a temporary accommodation, near-site or on-site location.

It was also clarified that if the company belongs to the SME category, the company should talk to their employees and consider another working arrangement such as work from home scheme.

The government is doing its best to contain the threat of COVID-19 and, at the same time, looking at the economy to perk up.

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