Safety seal inspection yields approval, Re-inspection

23 July 2021 – For the city’s safety seal program as of July 22, there were 114 establishments inspected, 85 approved, 29 for re-inspection, 125 requests for inspection and 11 scheduled for inspection. There were also 160 inquiries coursed through the Permits and Licensing Division, tel. number 619-31-84.

According to the Permits and Licensing Division – City Mayor’s Office (CMO-PLD) and Safety Seal Team head Allan Abayao, the establishments inspected last Wednesday (July 21), are in SM, Abanao Square, Upper Session Road, Anita Theresa and Clemente bldg., Imelda Marcos Barangay, Engineers Hill, Camp John Hay, Bonifacio, and PNR.

These are mostly food and beverage service, vitamins and health shops, clothes and toy selling areas, laundry, banks, administrative offices, call centers, and review centers.

Inspection is done by the safety seal composite team to monitor the implementation of the digital application, compliance to Minimum Public Health Standards (MPHS), and to verify any complaints as to the awarding of safety seals.

The composite team which was created through Executive Order 77 issued by Mayor Benjamin Magalong on July 1, includes personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Health Services (HSO), City Disaster Risk Reduction Management (CDRRMO), Public Information (PIO) offices and other officials assigned by the local chief executive such as the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD). 

The issued safety seal shall be displayed prominently in business establishments, is provided at no cost to the owner, and is expected to increase customer confidence in the opening of the economy. It is in effect for six months, renewable not earlier than one month before expiration and anchored on Inter-Agency Task Force for the management of emerging diseases (IATF) Resolution no. 87.

As to guidelines issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), 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, an establishment should have a valid business/mayor’s permit; use the application or any contact tracing tool. Other requirements are; a temperature or thermal scanner to assess employees, clients and visitors; health declaration sheets in convenient areas; an isolation area for identified symptomatic individuals; and Covid-19 emergency hotlines displayed inconspicuous areas. 

A designated safety officer should also always be present to coordinate with appropriate agencies 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 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 an 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.

Compliance with to mentioned requirements is regularly monitored either by the safety seal or permits and licensing team. – Julie G. Fianza