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IATF: Food firms to operate with 50% of workforce during Luzon quarantine

By: - Reporter / @KHallareINQ
01:04 PM March 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Food production companies are allowed to operate with up to 50 percent of their workforce during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, the Inter-Agency Government Task Force for Infectious Emerging Diseases (IATF-IED) said.

However, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, who is also IATF-IED spokesperson, clarified on Friday that the number of workers may be increased should the supply level of a basic food product warrants a higher capacity.

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“Establishments involved in the production, manufacturing, packaging, processing, and distribution of food may operate at a maximum of 50 percent of their respective workforces,” Nograles said.

“Unless the supply level of a basic food product warrants a higher capacity, in which case, the [Department of Trade and Industry] is hereby authorized to approve the increase of workforce capacity temporarily. Provided, that in all cases, all establishments shall be subject to strict social distancing requirements,” the Cabinet Secretary added.

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As Luzon remains under an enhanced community quarantine to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Department of Health has reported that at present, the Philippines has 803 confirmed COVID-19 cases,  with 54 deaths and 31 recoveries. 

The IATF-IED added in its new directives that all law enforcement agencies, as well as local government units, have been ordered to allow the “unimpeded” movement of food supply-chain workers to and from their workplaces subject to existing identification requirements.  The task force is also encouraging food firms to provide their workers with on-site accommodations during the quarantine period.

“Provided, further, that the food industry is strongly encouraged to provide on-site accommodation for their workers,” the directive from the IATF-IED said.

/MUF

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