'Employers should provide transportation, face masks, vitamins for workers'


Posted at May 13 2020 12:41 AM | Updated as of May 13 2020 12:42 AM

MANILA - As workers prepare to return to work after government allowed select industries to operate again amid the pandemic, an employers' group urges companies to provide their employees with transportation, equipment, and vitamins and to protect them from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Sergio Ortiz Luis, president of Employers Confederation Of The Philippines (ECOP), said in an interview on Tuesday that firms and employers should provide their workers with transportation, facemasks, personal protective equipment (PPEs) and vitamins to protect them from the dreaded coronavirus while they work.

"Siyempre gusto mo yung safety ng tao mo tapos pag nagkasakit ang tao mo at hindi mo nabayaran o may pagkukulang ang kompanya sa hindi pagbabayad sa SSS, so dapat maliwanagan lahat 'yan," he told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

"Sagot lahat yan, at sagot ang sundo. O iha-house mo mga tao na magta-trabaho."

Malacañang announced earlier in the day that Metro Manila and other areas will shift to a modified lockdown until the end of the month while the rest of the country will have fewer restrictions as the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) lapses on Friday.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) is different from the ECQ in the sense that it allows the slow restart of the economy.

Other parts of the Philippines have also shifted to the loosened "general community quarantine" in efforts to get their areas running again.

Luis warned of unnecessary movements of people starting May 16 if companies and employers don't make it clear to their workers that only industries allowed by government to re-open can operate up to a maximum of 50 percent capacity.

"So magkakagulo-gulo. So dapat 'yan, maliwanag ang rules at 'yung mga kompanya dapat maliwanagan din," he said.

He said COVID-19 policies like wearing of facemasks and observing physical distancing should still be followed.

President Rodrigo Duterte earlier urged the public to wear face masks in public places and to practice physical distancing as he warned that the country cannot afford another wave of infections.

"We cannot afford a second or third wave na mangyari," Duterte said in a public address.

As of Tuesday, 11,086 coronavirus cases have been logged in the Philippines. Of the total, 726 died and 1,999 recovered.