DTI to ensure compliance of firms with health protocols

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is focusing on efforts to improve the compliance of business establishments with minimum health protocols to raise consumer confidence.

Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez on Tuesday said the DTI respects the decision of President Duterte’s to raise the age restriction back to 15 years old. The Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) had brought it down to 10 years old to encourage families to go out with their children.

“We heard the decision of the President last night to revert back from 10 years old to 15 years old the minimum age restriction, so it’s back to status quo allowed persons outside of residence of 15 to 65 years old,” Lopez said in a text message to reporters.

The IATF and economic managers were hoping that lowering the age restriction may improve economic activity in commercial areas on the principle that families will be encouraged to go out as a unit. The IATF heeded the proposal of the state economists, and went on to bring down the age restriction to 10 years old in areas under modified general community quarantine.

However, on Monday night the President recalled the policy on concerns that the new Covid-19 variant may spread and the strain might infect children.

According to Lopez, Duterte directed the IATF and economic managers to study the new variant of the virus before relaxing quarantine rules. He added the President was just wary a surge in new cases may take place when more people start leaving their houses.

“He asks us to study further the new variant because it might spread and the blame might be put on the easing of age restriction,” Lopez said.

“So better to observe further the new variant and it might be safer to adjust once we are able to control the spread of the new variant. Better to err on the side of caution.”

To enhance consumer confidence, the trade chief disclosed the DTI will intensify its monitoring of private firms as to their compliance with minimum health protocols.

He argued this way, buyers will be enticed to go out and purchase from physical stores knowing they have been adhering to regulations set by the government. These rules include checking of temperature at the entrance, maintaining a contact tracing file, as well as sanitizing the space every hour.

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