DOLE issues guidelines on workers affected by community quarantine

The Department of Labor and Employment released on Saturday Labor Advisory No. 11, series of 2020 providing supplemental guidelines relative to remedial measures in view of the ongoing outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In its labor advisory, the DOLE detailed the guidelines to help ensure the containment of COVID-19 transmission. It also provided guidelines on how workers can enter or exit the National Capital Region.

Residents of nearby cities and/or municipalities outside the National Capital Region who work in Metro Manila shall be allowed to report for work provided that they present proof of employment and residency in checkpoints such as:

  1. Identification card (ID) containing the company address./place of work and employee’s place of residence; or
  2. Certification of employment which shall state the place of work.

The same shall apply to residents in Metro Manila who work in nearby cities and/or municipalities outside the National Capital Region.

In the case of self-employed workers, they shall be allowed to travel to and from the NCR, provided, they show proof of business and economic activity at border checkpoints.

In addition, “those delivering goods such as food, raw materials, etc. are also allowed access in Metro Manila, provided that they present proof of delivery receipt stating the address of the establishment to receive the goods,” the DOLE said.

All healthcare facilities are also mandated to continue with their full operations. Employees of such facilities are allowed to move from Metro Manila to other regions and vice versa.

Aside from the guidelines on movement, the Department also encouraged employers to implement flexible working arrangements in lieu of outright termination of employees or total closure of business establishments. The DOLE earlier released Labor Advisory No. 9, series of 2020 which encouraged employers to implement measures such as telecommuting, work from home, reduction of workdays/hours, rotation of workers and forced leaves.

DOLE also said that all manufacturing, retail and service establishments are likewise advised to remain in operation during the community quarantine period. However, social distancing and safety and health measures shall be strictly observed.

To allay the fears of workers, DOLE reiterated that the leaves of absence during the community quarantine period shall be charged against the workers’ existing leave credits. Remaining unpaid leaves during the said period may be covered and be subject to the conditions in the Department’s proposed COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Programs.

Last Thursday, the government raised the Code Red Sub-Level 2 alert due to the fast rising number of COVID-19 infections in the country. The National Capital Region was thereafter placed on community quarantine to prevent further transmission of the virus.

Local governments in various provinces and regions likewise issued the same, with the aim of securing their cities, provinces and regions from the COVID-19 infection.