AROUND 97 locators at the Mactan Export Zone (Mez) were authorized by the Lapu-Lapu City Government to continue operating amid the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
The development was confirmed by lawyer James Sayson, officer-in-charge of the Lapu-Lapu City Legal Office.
Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) Director General Charito Plaza welcomed the Lapu-Lapu City Government’s decision of letting the locators to continue to operate despite the ECQ.
“We have to make a balancing act to protect the health of workers, and for them not to lose jobs and continue with business so we’ll not cripple the economy,” Plaza said.
To assist the locators, the Peza could give them reprieves so they can recover fast their losses. To achieve this, the Peza may extend the deadline of payment of rentals at the Mactan Economic Zone and amnesty from payable due to the Peza from those who were penalized for non-submission of reportorial requirements. These, however, are still subject to studies by the Peza.
Sayson said the locators were able to secure special permits from the City Hall on March 29, 2020, the same day that the city was placed under ECQ, which was implemented to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The firms that suspended their operations, on the other hand, were able to resume after complying with the requirements laid by the City.
Sayson said the locators that reduced their workforce by 30 percent were the ones allowed to operate. The aim of reducing the number of employees was meant to ensure that strict social distancing would be observed.
The locators were also able to establish sanitation procedure such as placing bottles of rubbing alcohol and hand sanitizers in conspicuous places within their facilities.
These firms are also either providing free transportation services for their employees or providing temporary housing facilities in order to limit their movement in the city in a bid to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Sayson assured that all these requirements had been thoroughly assessed before the locators were allowed to continue with their operations.
Business owners who wish to operate amid the ECQ may submit a letter request for exemption before the office of Mayor Junard Chan, he said.
These firms will then be subjected to an assessment before they are given special permits to operate.
“Only those who were able to secure special permits are allowed to operate. We conducted an immediate inspection over the weekend that’s why some locators were able to continue with their operations. We are following a set of parameters,” Sayson said in Cebuano. (GCM, RTF & JOB)