Philippines sets rules for construction resumption

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 11 2020 03:08 PM | Updated as of May 11 2020 09:54 PM

Philippines sets rules for construction resumption 1
A construction worker wears a shirt over his face as a makeshift mask while mounting a billboard frame in Quezon City on March 30, 2020 even as the Luzon-wide lockdown for non-essential work is in effect. Personal protective equipment remain in short supply, even for medical workers, as the COVID-19 epidemic continues in the country. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- (UPDATE) The government has allowed all public and private construction projects to resume in areas under general community quarantine as long as these adhere to guidelines against the spread of COVID-19, officials said.

Areas under enhanced community quarantine meanwhile are still limited to only select types of construction projects. 

Below are the construction safety guidelines issued by the Department of Public Works and Highways for the implementation of infrastructure projects during the coronavirus crisis:

PRIOR TO DEPLOYMENT

  1. Only persons from 21 to 59 years of age, without pre-existing health conditions, such as, but not limited to, immunodeficiency comorbidities, or other health risks, including any person who resides with the aforementioned; and who did not come into contact with someone with COVID-19 shall be allowed to be included in the workforce.
  2. Employees or consultants who are 60 years of age or above may be part of the workforce for construction projects as may be allowed under GCQ and ECQ guidelines
  3. Construction personnel shall be required to undergo COVID-19 test, as may be prescribed by DOH, and retested as the need arises
  4. The head of the concerned implementing office shall issue construction quarantine pass to the individual qualified personnel of the concessionaires, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers, clearly stating the identification, designation, nature of work, validity and destination. It is understood that the quarantine pass shall cover transit of personnel.
  5. The concessionaires, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers shall provide for their personnel/workers the necessary welfare facilities and amenities, such as employees’ quarters for board and lodging, ensuring compliance to social distancing, proper hygiene, etc.
  6. Contractors shall ensure that their projects are in compliance with DOLE D.O. No. 13 series of 1998 or Occupational Safety and Health Standards.
  7. Contractors shall provide their personnel and workers continuous supply of vitamins, particularly vitamin C, other over-the-counter medicines, quarantine facilities, and oxygen tanks for emergency purposes.
  8. Contractors shall provide disinfection facilities in their respective project sites in compliance with pertinent DOH and IATF Guidelines, to be placed at strategic locations to ensure the safety and welfare of all personnel
  9. Proper information dissemination regarding COVID-19 construction protocols on top of existing construction safety practices shall be conducted by safety officers to all personnel.
  10. For government construction projects, personal records of all personnel necessary for contact tracing shall be submitted by the concessionaires, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers to the DPWH IO and shall be resubmitted and updated monthly, or as the need arises


DURING DEPLOYMENT

  1. Inventory of works for the constructions sequencing to be followed and undertaken to maintain social distancing
  2. Break times shall be conducted in a staggered manner
  3. Employees should be in their respective quarters for the entire duration of the project covered by the ECQ and GCQ otherwise, “prior to deployment” procedures shall be conducted at every instance of re-entry
  4. Errands to be conducted outside the construction site premises shall be kept to a minimum
  5. Number of personnel running errands shall be limited, properly disinfected, and closely monitored for symptoms within 14 days upon re-entry
  6. Field offices, employees’ quarters, and other common areas shall be regularly disinfected
  7. Concessionaires, contractors, subcontractors, and suppliers shall provide in-house personnel with:
    - adequate food
    - safe/potable drinking water
    - disinfectants
    - hand soaps
  8. Daily monitoring of health conditions of workers
  9. Personnel with symptoms relative to COVID-19 shall be quarantined for 14 days, and brought to the nearest DOH COVID-19 treatment facility, if necessary
  10. Work activities shall be strictly monitored by the safety officer to ensure compliance to safety standards and quarantine protocols
  11. For government construction projects, DPWH Engineers on-site shall ensure strict compliance to the wearing of additional personal protective equipment
  12. Contractors of essential private construction projects under GCQ shall assign a safety officer to ensure the implementation of social distancing measures
  13. For off-site employees: quarters and transport service will be provided and disinfected regularly before and after use
  14. Sharing of construction and office equipment is discouraged. However, if necessary, the shared equipment must be disinfected in between transfers among personnel.
  15. All material and equipment delivery and disposal shall be conducted by a specific team of personnel on an isolated loading/unloading zone, and shall be duly disinfected, as possible
  16. Non-essential personnel will not be allowed to enter the construction site, employees’ quarters, and field offices.
  17. All personnel entering the site premises on a temporary basis shall be properly logged and checked for symptoms
  18. Gatherings, liquor, and/or merry-making are strictly prohibited within the construction site premises.
  19. Clustered and staggered deployment of employees within the construction site shall be observed
  20. Proper waste disposal shall be provided for infectious waste such as PPEs and other waste products coming from outside the construction premises