DAVAO

Some biz to continue online, work-from-home despite GCQ

Photo from Pexel

SOME businesses in Davao City are seen to continue their online operations and work-from-home setup despite being allowed to operate as soon as the city shifts to general community quarantine (GCQ), a business leader said.

Based on the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of the Community Quarantine in the country, several business establishments prohibited to operate during the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will now be allowed under the general community quarantine (GCQ).

Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industries Inc. (DCCCII) president John Carlo B. Tria said many business establishments have been using online platforms and have engaged in delivery services to ensure safety in their operations.

In a recent press statement, he noted many restaurants have reopened and made themselves accessible in delivery websites and applications.

"We have advocated for innovation which includes reviewing business models and doing deliveries and going digital. We can now see local restaurants on popular food booking platforms. I am happy to see many companies doing so while complying with ECQ requirements," he said.

However, with the relaxed guidelines for business operations under GCQ, he said businesses will likely stay in their current online setup.

"I can understand that there are some that are approaching it with care and will exercise caution. That's why work-from-home and online platforms will be important avenues for them," he said.

With this, he said businesses continued to clamor for better internet connectivity.

"The hope raised by many is that internet service will improve so that they can have more of their employees work-from-home especially those who may find it difficult to report for work in the office because of their increased individual risk for infection," he said.

"They also want to expand their customer base and make more effective payments, as online portals can make these faster," he added.

Based on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Memorandum Circular 20-22 series of 2020, the businesses that will now be allowed to operate under GCQ in 50 percent or in full operational capacity are the manufacturing activities such as in beverages, cement and steel, electrical machinery, wood products and furniture, nonmetallic products, textiles or wearing apparels, tobacco products, paper and paper products, rubber and plastic products, computer, electronic, and optical products, electrical equipment, machinery and equipment, and transport equipment, among others.

Other businesses and activities allowed to open in the GCQ are essential public and private construction projects; office administrative, office support, and other business activities such as but not limited to photocopying, billing, and record keeping; financial services; legal and accounting, architecture and engineering services; scientific and research development; advertising and market research; computer programming; publishing and printing; motion picture, video and television program production, sound recording, and music publishing; malls and commercial centers; barbershops and salons; and other non-leisure wholesale and retail establishments.

While the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) recommends the entire Davao Region to transition to GCQ, Davao City and Davao de Oro will still be subjected to verification on May 14, depending on the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) situation in their respective localities.

The draft guidelines released by the City Government of Davao said it will adopt the DTI memorandum to enumerate all the offices, establishments, and industries allowed to operate in the GCQ.

It will also allow mobile palengke, rolling stores, grocery on wheels, and ambulant food vendors selling basic food commodities specifically rice, bread, meat, fish, poultry, fruits and vegetables, cooking oil, and other food condiments.


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