Relaxed curfew, staggered work shifts urged

Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) – October 24, 2020 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines  — Local government units (LGUs) are encouraged to relax curfew hours, while business establishments are advised to implement staggered work shifts under the latest advisory issued by the government in line with further opening the economy.

“As we gradually reopen the economy in increments mindful of the current hospital capacity threshold, LGUs, where applicable, are enjoined to ease curfew hours, e.g. from midnight to 4 a.m.,” read the joint Advisory 20-01 dated Oct. 22.

Implementation of the curfew hours would be guided by a local ordinance, according to the advisory jointly issued by the Departments of Trade and Industry (DTI), of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Meanwhile, businesses are encouraged to implement multiple and staggered work shifts. This means workers can adopt a work shift schedule that can start at 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 9 a.m. and so on.

Through multiple or staggered work shifts, more workers can go to work while ensuring physical distancing requirements are maintained and demand for public transportation is managed.

Still, the three agencies said staggered work shifts are being encouraged along with work-from-home and flexible work arrangements.

To enable multiple work shifts, shorter curfews must be in place.

This move is in line with the government’s policy direction of allowing more workers and buyers to contribute to the economy for its recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) allowed malls to hold sale and promotional events. The IATF also expanded the age group of individuals who can go out to 15 to 65 years old.

Earlier this month, the government allowed more business establishments to hike operating capacity up to 100 percent.

Even as the economy continues to reopen, the government has emphasized the need to continue implementing public health and safety protocols and the “seven commandments” against COVID-19.

These are the wearing face masks; wearing face shields; no talking and eating in confined areas; adequate ventilation; frequent and proper disinfection; isolation of symptomatic or COVID-19 positive individuals and physical distancing.

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