09 July 2021 – A Safety Seal team led by Permits and Licensing Division – City Mayor’s Office (PLD-CMO) head Allan Abayao conducts inspection and certification of business establishments in the city in compliance to Executive Order 77, series of 2021 issued July 1 by Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

Members of the composite team include personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP), health services (HSO), disaster risk reduction management (DRRMO), public information offices (PIO) and other officials as assigned by the local chief executive.

Depending on the number of business establishments, the local government unit could create as many inspection teams. In Baguio, composite teams were created for simultaneous inspection, but would later convene for final assessment and agreement for the awarding of safety seals to inspected areas, individual stalls, or buildings.    

The Safety Seal is anchored on Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Resolution no. 87 with the aim to increase compliance by private or public entities to minimum public health standards (MPHS) set by the government, to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The safety seal is prominently displayed in the business establishments’ entrance including the digital application such as the or other implements for contact tracing. Said application functions in no-touch contact tracing, health condition reporting, Quick Response (QR) code scanning, digital logbook and social distancing features.  Together with MPHS practices, the digital application in business establishments is expected to increase customer confidence in the opening of the economy.

As to guidelines issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) the safety seal is granted at no cost to the establishment, valid for six months upon issuance and renewal should be done not earlier than one month before expiration.

For security measures, the safety seal shows the logo of the issuing authority, number, date of issuance and date of end of validity. The safety seal may be secured through application after the establishment owner’s self-assessment with a checklist, regular visits of licensing authorities, and action on complaints.

To acquire a safety seal, the establishment needs to comply with a DILG-issued checklist with requirements such as having a valid business/mayor’s permit; use of or any contact tracing tool, and health declaration sheets in convenient areas; a temperature or thermal scanner to assess employees, clients and visitors; an isolation area for identified symptomatic individuals; Covid-19 emergency hotlines displayed inconspicuous areas. 

A designated safety officer should also be responsible to coordinate with appropriate bodies for support and referral to isolation facilities for mild symptoms, and health facilities or hospitals for severe and critical care cases. The safety officer undertakes contact tracing or coordinates such; monitor the status of employees who are quarantined or isolated; and implement return-to-work policies.         

Handwashing areas for employees and clients with adequate supplies should be in strategic locations within the business establishments, physical barriers installed for social distancing; and a health monitoring and compliance officer-in-charge should ensure compliance of clients and employees to health protocols, the checklist states.

Adequate ventilation for air exchange in enclosed area, disinfection protocols, and personnel compliance to MPHS such as wearing of face mask and shield, and social distancing especially in enclosed areas should always be practiced.

A storage facility for proper collection, treatment, and disposal of used facemask and other infectious wastes should be in the facility, it was also stated in the checklist. In case of deficiencies or violations, an inspection or correction should be made and a reassessment by the team is done before approval, revocation of reinstatement of a seal.   

There are designated issuing authorities/offices for the inspection of each category of establishments:

Department of Tourism – Primary tourism enterprises, accommodation establishments, travel and tour services, meetings, incentives, conferences and events venues/facilities, restaurants inside hotels/resorts;

DOLE – manufacturing, construction, utility supply, information and communication companies, and warehouses;

DTI – groceries, supermarkets, membership, shopping clubs, convenience stores, construction and hardware, logistics services, barbershops and salons, service and repair shops;

Local Government Unit – malls, wet markets, other retail stores, restaurants outside hotels/resorts, fast food, eateries, coffee shops, etc., banks, money changers, pawnshops, remittance centers, car wash, laundry service, art galleries,  libraries, museums, zoos, sports centers, tutorial, testing and review centers, gyms, spas, cinemas, arcades, other private establishments;

DILG/Philippine National Police (PNP) – city/municipal hall, provincial capitol, all other LGU facilities and buildings, police camps and stations, bureau of fire protection offices and fire stations, provincial/district/city jails, barangay halls and their facilities, all other public establishments not covered by the other issuing agencies.

Guidelines for implementation were jointly issued by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), DILG, Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Department of Transportation (DoTr). 

Inquiries as to the issuances of the Safety Seal may be course through the Permits and Licensing Division, City Mayors Office at 619-31-84. – Julie G. Fianza