OFFICIALS of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Central Visayas urged owners of essential establishments in Cebu Province to hold a dialogue with their employees on how they can implement Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s order to wear air purifiers.
Garcia’s Executive Order (EO) 41-2021, which places Cebu Province under general community quarantine until Sept. 30, 2021, also mandates employees of essential services to wear air purifiers especially if their workplace is air-conditioned and poorly ventilated.
In an interview, Dole 7 Director Salome Siaton urged employers in Cebu Province to give options to their employees as a way for them to be able to comply with Garcia’s order.
“Continuing dialogue is the key. It’s up to the employer and his employees to determine if they can afford to buy air purifiers or if they can share the cost of buying them. What is important is that it is discussed and agreed upon by both parties,” Siaton said.
But if the employer cannot shoulder the cost, Siaton advised them to avail of other options such as providing air purifiers as part of the company property.
They can also implement flexible working arrangements for their employees or allow employees to take turns using the company-issued air purifiers, Siaton added.
But Siaton says the air purifier requirement is not yet included in their checklist for their inspection and joint monitoring with the Department of Trade and Industry on the compliance of establishments to health and safety protocols amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Earlier, representatives of the Partido ng Manggagawa-Cebu said they, including other labor groups in Cebu, are set to submit a written appeal to Garcia next week.
They plan to ask Garcia to reconsider the implementation of the air purifier requirement for employees of essential establishments in the Province.
Dennis Derige, PM-Cebu spokesman, said this new directive from the Cebu Province is just an “additional burden” to minimum wage earners who instead of paying for expensive air purifiers could just use the money for food, medicine, and even face mask and face shield supply.
The Department of Health has not recommended the use of air purifiers, and its use is not included in the Philippine Covid-19 Living Clinical Practice Guidelines. (WBS)