Since its implementation months ago (click here, here and here) the Safety Seal certification program has covered a lot of business establishments and offices (including government). Recently, it was reported by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) that more than 43,000 business establishments nationwide have been certified safe as Safety Seals were issued to them. This is really good news because our nation badly needs economic recovery as a lot of workers lost their jobs and income as a result of the last enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) that happened in Metro Manila as well in other regions. The national economy has clearly been damaged not only by COVID-19 but also by the lockdowns (note: observe closely how the top officials of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and the Metro Manila Council think and act when making their recommendations to the IATF).
To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…
A total of 43,332 public and private establishments nationwide have been issued safety seal certifications, an assurance to the public that health protocols are put in place amid the quarantine restrictions.
The safety seal certification program indicates the compliance of establishments to the minimum public health standards (MPHS) set by the government.
In a news release issued Tuesday, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said the certification program is beneficial to the country’s recovering economy as it boosts the confidence of consumers in going out and patronizing business in the new normal with the assurance that a business establishment is compliant with health protocols.
He encouraged more businesses to adopt the seal as an effective measure in curbing the spread of the Covid-19 virus.
“Businesses can do their share in the fight against the pandemic and create a healthy space for consumers to transact their purchases and for employees to gainfully and safely earn a living,” Lopez said.
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año told owners of establishments, especially those in areas under strict quarantine restrictions, to take the time to apply for a safety seal.
“Applying for a Safety Seal is not mandatory. However, business establishments are highly encouraged to apply since this will also help them attract customers which eventually leads to increased sales and profit,” he said.
Since its implementation in May 2021, a total of 85,731 applications were received by the issuing agencies as reported by the Safety Seal Technical Working Group (TWG); 50.54 percent or 43,332 applications were approved while 11.50 percent or 9,858 applications were either denied or referred to the appropriate agency.
The remaining percentage represents those that are still in the inspection process.
“I commend and congratulate the establishments that have taken the lead in securing their Safety Seal certifications. This will build confidence that their respective companies are committed to ensuring the health and safety of their stakeholders and workers,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
Under the program, a business establishment is eligible to apply for a safety seal given that it is duly registered, adopting the Staysafe.ph app or any other local government unit-mandated digital contact tracing application and strictly following and implementing the MPHS.
“The implementation of the Safety Seal Program is a very laudable initiative that highly reinforces our country’s response to combat Covid-19. As we gradually reopen our economy, it is important to ensure that our people are safe, and adherence to Minimum Public Health Standards is one vital key to this aspect,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
The Department of Tourism (DOT) also reaches out to tourism establishment owners to get the seal.
“The Safety Seal certification program bodes well with the DOT’s priority to ensure the health and safety of both tourists and tourism workers. Let us continue to make travel fun and safe for all,” Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.
The Safety Seal Technical Working Group assured the public that the government exerts the best efforts with a whole-of-government and whole-of-society coordination in support of the Inter-Agency Task Force’s Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate (PDITR) strategy.
Let me end this piece by asking you readers: As a consumer, are you confident that economic recovery will happen over the next twelve months? Are there still many business joints in your local community that are operating without Safety Seals? Do you believe that the MMDA and the Metro Manila Council should be held accountable for every job lost as a result of their recommending ECQ to the IATF?
You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.
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