Gov't issues memo reducing onsite workers
Amid the increasing COVID-19 cases in the country, the Palace issued a memorandum circular to reduce onsite workers at government offices to ensure the continuous delivery of public service.
Memorandum Circular no. 94 signed by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Friday states that "with the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the country, there are reports that government offices are finding it difficult to comply with the minimum onsite workforce provided in the Alert Level System and MC No. 93 due to the increasing number of COVID-19 positive cases among their personnel, and the need to observe isolation and quarantine protocols for such personnel and their close contacts.".
Under MC no. 93, the government will have at least 80 percent onsite workforce for Alert Level 2, 60 percent for Alert Level 3 and 40 percent for Alert Level 4.
It emphasized the "need to balance health considerations and the continuous delivery of public services, even in situations where the number of Covid-19 cases suddenly increased".
The memorandum noted that "the reduction of on site workforce below the minimum provided in the Alert Level System and the temporary closure of premises, shall be regarded as extreme measures, reserved for situations where the spread of CovID-19 in the workplace has become overwhelming and unmanageable."
The rules for the reduction of on-site workforce and temporary closure of premises states that "the head of an agency or instrumentality considering to reduce its on site workforce in, or to temporarily close, its main or central office shall submit to the head of the department exercising control or supervision over it, or to which it is attached, a request for clearance to do so."
"The request shall state the proposed duration of such measure and must be supported by verified data and other documentation which the department head deems fit to require. No reduction of on-site workforce or closure shall be implemented until such clearance is obtained from the head of the department," the memo said.
It also noted that "the reduction of on-site workforce in, or temporary closure of, branches, and regional or field offices, can be decided by the head of the concerned department, agency or instrumentality. In the case of agencies or instrumentalities, they shall notify the head of the department exercising control or supervision over them, or to which they are attached, of the reduction of on-site workforce or the temporary closure, and the measures adopted to ensure continuous and uninterrupted delivery of public service."
"This is without prejudice to the discretion of the department head to require prior clearance from his or her office before implementation of such measures," it stated.
While the "agencies or instrumentalities not under the control or supervision of or attached to any department, as well as departments considering the reduction of the on-site workforce in. or the temporary closure of their main or central offices, shall submit their request for clearance to the office of the President."
It stated that "the heads of these departments or agencies can also act upon requests for the reduction of on-site workforce in. or temporary closure of, their branches, and field or regional offices, subject to the submission" of their requirements to the Office of the President.
The "reduction of on-site workforce or temporary closures merely to conduct disinfection of premises shall not be allowed" and noted that "such activity shall be undertaken after office hours or on weekends" and the "agencies or instrumentalities implementing the reduction of on-site workforce or temporary closure shall ensure that there will be manned hotlines.on-site or off-site. to respond to the immediate concerns of their respective stakeholder."
Due to the surge of COVID-19 cases the areas of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, and Rizal have been placed under Alert Level 3 from January 3 until January 15, while Laguna is under the same Alert Level starting January 7.
On the other hand, the IATF also placed 14 other areas under under Alert Level 3 from January 9 until 15 due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases. Robina Asido/DMS