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