MALL INSPECTION. Trade department regional director Rebecca Rascon (right) talks to the representatives of the SM City mall management during an inspection to check on their compliance with health protocol in workplaces on Wednesday (June 3, 2020). Rascon said the inspection is continuous until a degree of compliance is met. (Photo courtesy of David Israel F. Sinay/DTI VI)

ILOILO CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on Wednesday inspected the health safety protocols being carried out by workplaces in Metro Iloilo to avoid the spread of coronavirus disease (Covid-19). 

Personnel of the two departments initially visited malls in the city to check their compliance with the joint DOLE-DTI Interim Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of Covid-19 and other advisories of the labor department.

In an interview, DTI Western Visayas regional director Rebecca Rascon told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that the joint interim guidelines focus on areas for compliance such as increasing physical and mental resilience of workers, reducing transmission, contact, and risk of infection.

The inspection covers business establishments, manufacturing firms, and business process outsourcing (BPO) companies.

Each agency identified 14 personnel who formed the inspection teams in three batches.

“Initially, DOLE identified 10 malls, manufacturing companies to include food and non-food; and BPOs also,” Rascon said.

The inspection of the malls was completed while the manufacturing firms and BPOs will be done on June 4.

Rascon and DOLE regional director Cyril Ticao first visited the SM City mall in Mandurriao district, including its department store and supermarket.

The compliance of individual stores or tenants inside the mall will be inspected by another team probably next week, Rascon said.

She added that they made several recommendations for improvement that the management must carry out such as providing soap and water in their lavatory. “We call the attention of the management because they are responsible for their tenant,” she said.

At the supermarket, the management committed to improving their system to ensure safe physical distancing although the inspection team was informed that the number of shoppers is being regulated.

“They have to comply that within this week,” Rascon said.

However, the mall is compliant with no mask-no entry policy, thermal scanning, provision of face shields, and alcohol.

Another recommendation is for the repeated reminders to shoppers to observe health protocol.

“This will be a continuous process until we see that the degree of compliance is high. We cannot say that by the first week of June we can finish this,” Rasco added. (PNA)