Safe business reboot means employing basics

Private sector groups including mall operators and those in the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) are now asking the government to be strict in implementing minimum health protocols, such as wearing masks and social distancing among citizens to ensure that the economy will not be disrupted despite the fluctuating cases of Covid-19.

Since all protocols were eased this year, the social distancing mechanism which was strictly imposed during the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, was evidently relaxed, particularly among public utility vehicles and government railways such as the Metro Rail Transit and the Light Rail Transit mass transport.

Warning has been raised in the recent surge of individuals seeking to avail of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s distribution of cash assistance to help indigent Filipino students.

DSWD Secretary Erwin Tulfo, under the agency’s Assistance for Individuals in Crisis Situation program, will provide P1,000 cash assistance to elementary students, high school students with P2,000, senior high school students with P3,000, while college or students under vocational courses may receive P4,000.

On Saturday, throngs swarm DSWD offices to secure cash grants that many noted have the potential of becoming super spreaders as social distancing and mask protocols were practically discarded.

Strict monitoring vowed
Hotels and malls operators promised not to let their guard down in requiring guests and tenants to comply with health protocols.

In an interview, Meegee Yap, director of Sales and Marketing of SM Hotel Group’s Park Inn by Radisson North Edsa, said the hotel’s management believes that minimum health standards should not be compromised.

“We even renewed our Safety Seal Certification Program with the Department of Tourism valid until 6 May 2023. As part of the Radisson Hotels Safety Protocol, our top priority is maintaining the highest levels of safety in accordance with each country’s local regulations,” she said.

Yap stressed measures that are currently in place in all Park Inn branches include prevention steps such as disinfecting all key entry points, including buffet areas and high touch points in public areas.
“A personalized contactless service is being offered throughout our properties wherever possible. Our team members’ health is monitored, and they receive regular Covid prevention training. In addition, we continuously monitor indoor air quality, and select hotels are adding CO2 (carbon dioxide) meters in areas such as meeting rooms and fitness centers,” she added.

10 steps for safe meetings
In addition to this, a new 10-step protocol for meeting and event spaces is currently being introduced to their hotels.

Yap said these include cleaning and disinfection procedures, increased attention to safety in communal spaces, protective equipment, and updated training for team members.

“All our worldwide locations are being briefed on these protocols and strongly encouraged to implement them. These protocols describe specific processes and measures that are designed to raise confidence,” Yap underlined.

A new 10-step protocol for meeting and event spaces is currently being introduced to their hotels.

She stressed that Park Inn by Radisson North EDSA fully supports the government’s initiatives, and they ensure adhering to the minimum public health standards and guidelines.

To further support this, she added Park Inn hotel has been certified for its health and safety standards with SGS, the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing, and certification company which allows us to accept leisure and business travelers.

Top priority for Ayala Malls
Meanwhile, AC Legarda, vice president for Ayala Malls, imparted that heeding the minimum health protocols remain a top priority.

“We have this daily haggle with our security agency to brief them regarding the importance of safety for our workers and customers. We prompt them to wear the mask and observe social distance, we still promote them,” she said.

Alongside this, Legarda said security personnel of their malls constantly remind their customers to remain vigilant as well as their merchants to be their partners in implementing health and safety protocols.

“So, it’s a 360-degree help from each other so that we can prevent the spread of the virus in our malls that will eventually help in boosting the economy,” Legarda maintained.

Go Negosyo’s project, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry was held once again on Friday and has brought together budding entrepreneurs and mentors — a huge event with more than 500 people in attendance.

Go Negosyo chairperson Joey Concepcion believes that social distancing will be difficult to enforce, but they made sure that all participants wear masks.

“I don’t think we should restrict movement anymore, that’s why we must push vaccine acquisition among citizens, especially booster shots. The government is allowing it to happen and has eased mobility. What is important is you wear your mask, even indoors,” he said, adding that wearing masks should be strictly imposed on enclosed spaces, especially MRT and LRT.

Concepcion maintained that even though cases have been piling up, hospitals are not being overwhelmed with serious cases, which is very important to keep the economy moving.

The United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention in a travel health notice, Tuesday, grouped the Philippines with Nepal and Russia as Level 3, including countries with more than 100 Covid-19 new cases over the past 28 days per 100,000 population.

Trade Secretary Fred Pascual echoed Concepcion in saying that the government should keep the mobility of people to patronize businesses in the country, such as malls.

“We should not restrict mobility this time of continued reopening of the economy. We are supported by the private sector on that,” Pascual stated.

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