PSA workers exempted from lockdown to gather data, do surveys on coronavirus
MANILA, Philippines – Employees of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) are now among those exempted from the lockdown in Luzon, allowing the agency to gather necessary data to help contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said on Sunday, April 14, that this was among the provisions of Resolution No. 14, series of 2020, recently passed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Nograles said PSA employees will also be allowed to do their tasks in relation to the implementation of the National Identification System.
“The Philippine Statistics Authority shall be allowed to operate at a capacity necessary to conduct data gathering and survey activities related to COVID-19, including those related to the registration and implementation of the National Identification System,” the Cabinet Secretary said in a virtual press conference.
PSA, however, will have to strictly adhere to the physical distancing measures in all its data gathering activities.
Apart from the PSA employees, health workers, emergency responders, government skeleton staff, security personnel, journalists, and workers in essential services are among the people authorized to leave their homes while Luzon remains under lockdown.
The “enhanced community quarantine” over Luzon island was supposed to end on April 12, but President Rodrigo Duterte extended the lockdown until the end of the month as COVID-19 cases to rise, with 4,428 people acquiring the disease as of Saturday, April 11.
The Luzon lockdown has restricted the movement of at least 57 million Filipinos.
On Sunday, Nograles said the IATF is now making it mandatory to publicly disclose the personal information of COVID-19 cases to help boost the Philippines’ struggle contact tracing activities.
Work from home OK'd for BPOs
In another resolution, the IATF is now allowing business process outsourcing (BPO) companies and export-oriented establishments to install the necessary work from home equipment “at any time” during the Luzon lockdown.
Nograles said under IATF Resolution No. 13, export-oriented industries are authorized to deploy workers under on-site or near-site accommodation requirements as well as provide them with point-to-point shuttle services.
Physical distancing and proper disinfection activities must be strictly followed.
The Cabinet Secretary then said that the IATF is ordering local government units to allow the free movement of BPO and export industry workers and equipment through their areas.
Various groups have previously urged the government and BPO companies to guarantee the safety and income of workers while Luzon remains under lockdown. – Rappler.com