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Business

Guidelines out for safety seal in establishments

Louella Desiderio - The Philippine Star
Guidelines out for safety seal in establishments
“Through the safety seal certification, the government aims to increase public confidence in businesses at this time of the pandemic – while also ensuring compliance in the minimum health protocols,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said during the virtual signing ceremony.
PPD / Toto Lozano, File

MANILA, Philippines — Government agencies have signed the implementing guidelines for the safety seal certification to assure the public of business establishments and government offices’ compliance to the minimum public health standards set amid the pandemic.

These include the departments of labor and employment, health, interior and local government, tourism  and trade.

“Through the safety seal certification, the government aims to increase public confidence in businesses at this time of the pandemic – while also ensuring compliance in the minimum health protocols,” Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said during the virtual signing ceremony.

He said the safety seal would affirm an establishment is compliant to the minimum health protocols and assure customers it is safe to visit this place.

“Likewise, it indicates that the establishment is using the StaySafe digital contact tracing application to strengthen the contact tracing initiative of the government – now led by DILG – to effectively contain the spread of COVID-19. It, in a way, commits that sector or establishment to abide by the minimum health protocols,” he said.

While securing the safety seal certification is voluntary, he said the government expects at least 500,000 retail establishments to apply.

Under the guidelines, the safety seal will be valid for six months from the date of issuance except for those issued to tourism enterprises which shall be valid for one year.

It is renewable subject to continued compliance with the eligibility requirements.

The safety seal indicates the following: issuing authority, date of issuance, and safety seal number and must be verifiable with the issuing authority.

The DOT will be the issuing authority for tourism enterprises like hotels, resorts, apartment hotels; travel tour services; meetings, incentives, conferences and events venues or facilities; and restaurants inside hotels or resorts.

Meanwhile, manufacturing establishments, construction sites, utilities, information and communication companies, and warehouses, would have DOLE as issuing authority.

As for groceries, convenience stores, construction supply or hardware stores, logistics service providers, barbershops and salons, service and repair shops, the issuing authority would be DTI.

Local government units (LGUs) will be the issuing authority for malls; wet markets; other retail stores; restaurants outside hotels; fast food, eateries, coffee shops; banks, money changers, pawnshops, remittance centers; car wash; laundry service centers; art galleries, libraries, museums, zoos; sports centers; tutorial, testing and review centers; gyms, spas; cinemas; arcades; and all other private establishments.

The DILG would be responsible for issuing the safety seal to city halls, municipal halls, provincial capitols; LGU facilities and buildings; police camps and stations; Bureau of Fire Protection offices and fire stations; provincial/district/city jails; barangay halls and other barangay facilities; and all other public establishments not covered by the other issuing agencies.

To qualify for the safety seal certification, the establishment should have registration or accreditation requirements such as mayor’s permit, DTI or Securities and Exchange Commission registration or DOT accreditation; use StaySafe.ph or any contact tracing tool integrated within the same; and enforce minimum public health standards.

To apply, the owner or authorized representative of the establishment will have to download from the website or secure from the issuing authority the checklist and perform self-assessment.

If self-assessment is favorable, the business establishment will then contact the issuing authority to schedule an inspection.

Once the establishment is found to have valid government-issued permits, the issuing authority will proceed with the inspection.

If the establishment is found compliant based on the inspection, it would be informed how the safety seal would be provided.

RAMON LOPEZ
Philstar
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