94.40% of establishments in NCR complied with health protocols in 2021 – DTI

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Photo shows that shoppers and establishments in a Makati Mall observed social distancing while establishments enforced health protocols for the protection of their customers and to control the spread of the virus. (Photo from THEPHILBIZNEWS/MAS)

By Alithea De Jesus

There is no denying that the decision of the government in lowering of alert level in NCR last November gave more confidence to the public to go out and do their holiday shopping. This also paved the way to provide more business activities, sales and jobs after a long lockdown.

The Department of Trade and Industry’s Fair Trade Enforcement Bureau (DTI-FTEB) reported that 94.40% of Metro Manila business establishments monitored are compliant with the Minimum Public Health Standards (MPHS) set by the government to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the country. 

Out of the 5,267 inspected firms last year, 4,121 observe and follow the MPHS. Meanwhile, 1,146 Requests for Corrective Action (RCAs) were issued to non-compliant business establishments; 804 of those firms with RCA satisfactorily gave their reports of compliance, adding them to the number of compliant firms now totaling to 4,925.  However, 292 firms did not reply to the RCA within the prescribed time and were endorsed to Local Government Units (LGUs) for further action and investigation. The remaining 50 firms will be subjected for endorsement to their concerned LGUs when compliance is deemed unsatisfactory within prescribed time.    

According to DTI-FTEB, majority of the observed non-compliance of the firms are the lack of mandatory contact tracing and/or health declaration forms, thermal scanners, floor markings for the observance of physical distancing, and the regular service maintenance schedule of the firms’ air conditioning units. This is pursuant to DOLE-DTI Joint Memorandum Circular 20-04-A Supplemental Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19 which states the implementation of risk mitigation strategies in all operating business establishments in the country by having proper ventilation and contact tracing forms, to name a few. 

DTI – Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo said that health protocols must be strictly followed to manage business operations in a safer and more effective manner throughout the pandemic.  

“This 2022, let us continue to be proactive and adhere to our health protocols to ensure the utmost protection of the health of the Filipino consumers, traders, and workers,” DTI – Consumer Protection Group (CPG) Undersecretary Atty. Ruth B. Castelo added. 

“The DTI assures the consumers and the public that together with the other Government Agencies, FTEB will continue to strengthen its monitoring and implementation of MPHS on business establishments by conducting spot-checking activities regularly,” DTI – CPG Assistant Secretary and DTI – FTEB Concurrent Director Ronnel O. Abrenica underscored. 

Consumers may report business establishments that are not following the government directive on health protocols by calling the 1-DTI (1-384) Hotline or by sending an email to consumercare@dti.gov.ph.