The coronavirus pandemic led about 70 business establishments in Cebu City to voluntarily suspend their operations in order to comply with minimum health standards.
The businesses either failed to implement social distancing in their work areas, put up safety barriers in offices, or mandate the wearing of face masks and face shields. Some of these have also tallied cases of the disease among employees.
In a virtual press briefing on Monday, September 14, Lawyer Rey Gealon, Cebu City Legal Officer and spokesperson for the Cebu City Government, said on-site inspections were conducted by the city government’s Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO).
“Atong ipasabot nga aning mga establisyemento boluntaryo nga nagpasira human nga inspeksyon sa BPLO ug nakita ang ilang kakuwang sa pagpatuman sa minimum health standards,” Gealon said.
(These establishments voluntarily suspended their operations after BPLO conducted inspections and found they failed to implement minimum health standards.)
He stressed a number of the the erring establishments were just given notice to comply with the minimum health standards against the transmission of the coronavirus disease.
He explained that the standard administrative penalty for establishments who have been found in violation of minimum health standards or whose employees have been traced as close contacts to COVID-19 patients is the suspension of work in the office in question, not the entire business operations.
Gealon added that noncompliant establishments voluntarily put a halt to their operations for an average of 3 to 5 days – the standard length of time it takes to thoroughly disinfect a workplace after isolating COVID-positve employees or those identified as close contacts to positive cases.
He said the longest an establishment had to close was 14 days, which 7 business establishments in the city went through. Four have already reopened while the remaining 3 are still undergoing disinfection.
Gealon said a majority of the 70 establishments have already resumed business operations.
Malls and restaurants have now reopened in Cebu City since it was put under modified general community quarantine – the risk classification with the least movement restrictions – last September 1. Cebu City will remain under MGCQ until the end of the month.
According to data from the Department of Health Central Visayas, Cebu City’s total COVID-19 cases reached 9,742 on Sunday, September 13. Of these, 385 are active cases while 8,696 have recovered. There have been 661 deaths in the city.
As of Monday, September 14, the Philippines reported 265,888 cases of the virus. – Rappler.com