DOLE Assistant Secretary Ma. Teresita Cucueco (Screengrab from Laging Handa briefing)

MANILA – Some 36 companies have so far applied for a safety seal certificate, a labor official said on Thursday.

“We have 36 (companies) that expressed intentions, we are conducting inspections. In the coming days, we will see if they are compliant so we can issue the safety seal,” Labor Assistant Secretary Ma. Teresita Cucueco said in a Laging Handa briefing.

Cucueco added that the certification is only valid for six months.

“There is a reason because after inspection, usually, the establishment tends to relax. The safety seal assures consumer confidence. So the effort to comply should be there. In six months, they can renew, if they are still compliant, they will be given another six months validity,” she said.

Meanwhile, she said establishments that have obtained a safety seal certificate should maintain their compliance with safety standards.

The public may report complaints of violations of safety standards to the Department of Labor and Employment through its hotline 1349.

Private companies bearing the safety seal certificate are those found to be practicing minimum health protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“Between two establishments, if one has a certification and the other has none, I’ll go to the establishment that has the seal,” Cucueco added.

These protocols include physical distancing and the use of a contact-tracing application, particularly the StaySafe.PH application, among others.

StaySafe.PH is the country’s official health condition reporting, contact tracing, and social distancing system authorized by the Interagency Task Force on Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and the National Task Force Against Covid-19. (PNA)