Isko bares new work schemes, trade protocols

Isko Moreno & Letlet Zarcal
Mayor Isko Moreno and assistant secretary to the mayor Letlet Zarcal discuss the new rules and work arrangements at City Hall.Photo by JERRY S. TAN

NEW work arrangements and new protocols when transacting any business in City Hall were laid out by Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, to include the ‘no face mask, no entry’ policy, mandatory temperature check and passing through a misting tent, as the city begins its transition to general community quarantine (GCQ) beginning tomorrow (June 1).

Moreno said anyone who will resist or refuse to follow the said basic regulation will not only be barred from entry but may also face arrest and charges for violation of City Ordinance 8627, which makes wearing of face masks in the entire city mandatory and punishable by fine or imprisonment or both.

In line with this, Moreno said each head of department, bureau or office is required to enforce infection control procedures such as physical distancing, wearing of masks, meticulous hand hygiene and cough etiquette, as stipulated in AO 2020-0015 on the Guidelines on the Risk-Based Public Health Standards for COVID-19 Mitigation. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) shall also be worn based on the setting of their work, like face shields and masks for those who render service via face-to-face encounters and full PPE for frontline healthcare workers, among others.

Under Executive Order 23 signed by Moreno and attested to by assistant secretary to the mayor Letlet Zarcal, Moreno detailed the alternative work  arrangements in all of the city government’s departments, bureaus, offices and units to prevent, control and diminish infection in the workplace.

Moreno said among those to be implemented would be the recommended 50 percent work-from-home schedule, which is equivalent to three-day workweek and two days work-from-home arrangement to complete the 40-hour workweek, to ensure that the city will function unimpeded and will be able to carry out uninterrupted,  delivery of basic services to all Manilans.

With the exception of those involved in frontline services of disaster and risk reduction management, health, social and sanitation such as the Department of Public Services, Department of Engineering and Public Works, Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau, Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, Manila Department of Social Works, Manila Health Department and City Hospitals, he said each department, office and unit of the city government will organize two work groups which will  follow designated work periods and schedule.

The first team will report for the first and second weeks of the month while the next team, on the third and fourth weeks.

Meanwhile, Zarcal said employees who are below 21 years old and those who are 60 or older, as well as those with immunodeficiency, comorbidities, or other health risks and pregnant women, including those who reside in areas placed under GCQ, shall be under work-from-home arrangement, except when their services are indispensable under the circumstances or when office work is permitted.

To facilitate the implementation of the work-from-home arrangement, Zarcal said the head of department, bureau or office shall ensure that the the employees are given tasks to be performed to the full extent possible in terms of man-days per work week. Employees under work-from-home shall make themselves available during the work hours 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. that they are at home.

Zarcal said returning employees and workers who are symptomatic with relevant history of travel or exposure on the date of resumption shall not be allowed to physically return to work, while those who are asymptomatic with relevant history of travel or exposure within the last fourteen days prior to the date of work resumption shall secure a clearance from the Manila Health Department.  If asymptomatic within the last fourteen days prior to the date of work resumption, employees and workers can be cleared to physically report to work.