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Project Balik Buhay goal: Safer workplaces

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | August 01,2020 - 05:54 PM
Project Balik Buhay aims to make businesses have a safer workplace.| CDN Digital file photo

Cleaners climb up the walls of a building in Cebu Business Park. | CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Project Balik Buhay (PBB) of Metro Cebu will work on ensuring that workplaces are safer for workers against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

The project aims to provide a road map for businesses to open safely especially now that the commercial centers in Metro Cebu such as the tri-cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu are under the general community quarantine (GCQ).

Read more: Cimatu OKs PBB relaunch

Edmun Liu, Project Balik Buhay chairman for the private sector, presented the renovated Project Balik Buhay, which addresses the role of the private sector in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

These are Compliance to Health Standards; Consistent Community Testing and Tracing to help catch the infection and Critical Care Capacity Management.

“It’s all about confidence. The moment we are able to improve business confidence, consumer confidence, economic activity will resume. If people are so scared, they don’t know where to go; they don’t know which establishment is safe as humanly as possible, then people will not spend and there will be no economic activity,” Liu said.

He reiterated that the basic PBB strategy is to reopen the economy gradually and safely and to avoid exceeding the health care capacity.

Under the revised PBB, there are five requirements for businesses to open. These are the following:

  1. Appointment of a designated health infection and prevention control officer (HIPCO);
  2. Submission of duly signed statement of management responsibility;
  3. Compliance to all general guidelines in accordance with latest IATF and Departments of Trade and Industry, Labor and Employment and Health and the local government units’ guidelines;
  4. Compliance of latest industry-specific guidelines as set by the relevant regulatory agencies for the industry; and,
  5. Randomized testing and contact tracing protocols.

Liu said that in coming up with the revised PBB, more business organizations had joined such as the Hotel, Resorts and Restaurants Association of Cebu, Cebu Real Estate and Builders Association, Cebu IT-BPM Organization, the group of major shopping malls and the Aboitiz group of companies.

The other business organizations that have participated in crafting the PBB are Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Cebu Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce; MEPZCEM Chamber Inc.; and the Philippine Retailers Association-Cebu Chapter.

Retired Major General Melquiades Feliciano, deputy overseer of IATF in Cebu, considers the program a welcome development.

“This (PBB) is very timely for the business sector to have these initiatives as early as now. We’d like to congratulate to those who initiated this program,” Feliciano said.

He also emphasized the importance of having PBB implemented in the businesses since there would be more movement.

“We should be more vigilant,” he said./dbs

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