DTI Releases Official Guidelines for Establishments Still Open in Manila

Selected establishments will continue to operate provided they follow these measures.

(SPOT.ph) With the President's recently announced community quarantine as well as the MMDA's recommended curfew, many of you may be left wondering whether establishments nearby will continue operating—a vital question if you need access to certain necessities during the 30-day quarantine period. In case you missed it, we listed all the malls in Metro Manila that will be temporarily closed during this period. The Department of Trade and Industry also just released a memorandum that clarifies whether establishments around the Metro will be able to operate and what measures they need to follow should they continue operating. This memo will be effective from March 15 to April 14, alongside the implementation of community quarantine.

Here's everything you need to know about establishments operating in Metro Manila during the community quarantine:

Malls

Mall operations are limited to establishments offering basic necessities such as groceries, supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, health clinics, bookstores, hardware stores, and food stalls that offer takeout or delivery services. Business Process Outsourcing offices inside malls are also allowed to operate.

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Take note that lessors and owners of these business spaces are implored to waive rental fees and store charges of establishments closed during the one-month quarantine period. Some local government units and mall groups around the Metro have already made formal announcements regarding the temporary closure.

PHOTO BY Mayor Francis Zamora Facebook Page

Leisure and Entertainment Establishments

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Businesses offering leisure and entertainment services are prohibited from operating during the community quarantine. This includes night clubs, bars, and pubs as well as recreational activities like live performances, events, exhibits, art galleries, concerts, and theater halls. Gambling facilities such as casinos, video game terminals, and lottery services are also prohibited from operating. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) notes that "gathering crowds confined in a specific area" are to be avoided at all costs.

Online Retail

The DTI encourages establishments to strengthen Internet retail and online commerce, and to direct their customers to opt for shopping online rather than going to a physical store. Note that delivery platforms are only allowed to operate within the National Capital Region.

Social Distancing Measures

For businesses and establishments that continue operating, proper social distancing measures are to be implemented. Retail establishments may operate provided that the number of people inside the store at any given time does not exceed one person per square meter of unimpeded space. Retail establishments are also directed to educate employees and staff on social distancing measures and to provide signs in-store to remind the public to observe the same measures.

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Establishments also directed to implement strict sanitary measures including the use of sanitizing solutions in high-touch, high-traffic areas like elevators and shopping carts. Establishments are also directed to notify public health authorities of employees or staff who show signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

Measures to Prevent Basic Infections

Employers are directed to implement proper hygiene and infection control in their respective establishments. This means promoting frequent handwashing, encouraging workers to stay home if they are sick, and practicing proper respiratory etiquette (i.e. covering coughs and sneezes). Workers are also discouraged from using others’ phones desks, offices, and other equipment as much as possible.

All business establishments are required to provide customers with tissue, alcohol, and trash bins. They must also maintain routine cleaning of surfaces, equipment, and general work environment using FDA-approved cleaning materials.

For more information, log on to DTI's website.

Main image from JC Gellidon/Unsplash.

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