Govt agency head now accountable to enforce health protocols in workplaces -Malacañang

By Susan G. De Leon

CALOOCAN CITY, May 12 (PIA) — Malacañang now holds accountable the heads of all government agencies of the executive branch to strictly enforce and monitor compliance with all health protocols in their respective workplaces.

This, after Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on Tuesday signed Memorandum Circular 86, which sees the need to “monitor compliance with health protocols in the workplaces of all government agencies and instrumentalities, to mitigate and suppress the spread of COVID-19 while ensuring the continuous delivery of public services.”

“Accountability for ensuring observance of such protocols shall rest jointly with such heads of agencies and the Committee,” the circular read, covering all government instrumentalities including government-owned and -controlled corporations.

Agencies and instrumentalities of the executive branch are enjoined to encourage the active participation of employees’ associations in their respective workplaces to ensure prompt communication and wider compliance.

Violation or failure to implement the circular shall subject the head of the agency and the responsible members of the Safety and Health Committee to administrative sanctions.

The circular also described the temporary closure of premises as “an extreme measure”, reserved for situations where the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace has become “overwhelming and unmanageable.”

However, the head of an agency or instrumentality considering to temporarily close its main or central office shall submit to the head of the department exercising control or supervision over it, or to which it is attached, a request for clearance to shut down the premises.

The request shall state the proposed duration of the measure and must be supported by verified data and other documentation.

No closure shall be implemented until the clearance is obtained from the head of the department.

On the other hand, the temporary closure of branches, and regional or field offices can be decided by the head of the concerned department, agency, or instrumentality.

In the case of agencies or instrumentalities, they shall notify the head of the department exercising control or supervision over them, or to which they are attached, of the temporary closure and the measures adopted to ensure the continuous and uninterrupted delivery of public service.

Agencies or instrumentalities not under the control or supervision of or attached to any department, as well as departments considering temporary closure of their main or central offices, shall submit their request for clearance to the Office of the President.

Temporary closures merely to conduct disinfection of premises shall not be allowed.

Instead, disinfection should be done after office hours or on weekends.

Meanwhile, the offices of the legislative and judicial branches of government, independent constitutional commissions, and bodies, and local government units are strongly urged to adopt the applicable provisions of the said circular. (PIA NCR)