MANILA - The country's trade chief on Thursday appealed to companies to provide transportation and accommodation for workers required to be physically present at work, as Metro Manila and several other areas shifted to a modified quarantine meant to revive the country's economy.
Lockdown restrictions in Metro Manila, Laguna, and several parts of Central Luzon were eased starting Thursday after a two-month enhanced quarantine that shuttered most businesses, leading to an economic slump as the country confronted the coronavirus pandemic.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez called on firms partially reopening with the shift to the modified enhanced community quarantine to provide support for employees as they are expected to return to work.
"Tuloy pa rin ang pag-encourage sa business owners na kung una kung maaari, magkaroon ng temporary accomodation sa workers nila na hindi lumayo, ito po sana ay within site and near site kung saan ang pinagtatrabahuan," Lopez said in a "Laging Handa" press briefing.
(We are continuing to encourage business owners to, if possible, provide temporary accomodation for workers so they would not have to stray far. As much as possible this should be within site or near the workplace.)
Metro Manila, Laguna, and Region 3 (except for Tarlac and Aurora) were placed under modified enhanced community quarantine this Saturday, May 16 until May 31.
Under the modified lockdown, select industries are allowed to operate their physical stores at 50-percent capacity, with half of personnel encouraged to telecommute or work from home.
Some employees, particularly those working in malls, were concerned they would have to walk to their workplaces with public transport still suspended.
"Dahil walang public transpo ay magbigay ng shuttle services... Dapat iprovide ng kompanya," Lopez said.
(Because there is no public transportation, they should give shuttle services.)
Malls poised to open under the modified lockdown have put in place stringent quarantine measures such as physical distancing and additional sanitary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.