EOC warns BPOs: allow contact tracers in or else…

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | January 28,2021 - 03:16 PM

Councilor Joel Gargarnera, EOC deputy chief implementor of Cebu City, warns BPOs or business process outsourcing firms to cooperate with contact tracers. | Screen grab of Councilor Joel Garganera video

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is warning Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) establishments in the jurisdiction of the city to be more cooperative with contact tracers.

The EOC has noticed a decline in the cooperation of the BPO establishments mostly from the business centers of the city.

Although Councilor Joel Garganera, EOC deputy chief implementor, refused to name the establishments, he said the BPO establishments had been trying to hide that some of their workers proved positive to the virus.

“Dili gyod na matago ninyo kay ang COVID-19 manimaho na. (You cannot hide that because COVID-19 will really smell.) And when we find out that the case is from a certain establishment we will immediately contact trace. If they refuse to cooperate mas madugay of sirado ilang negosyo (then their firm will be closed for quite a while),” said the councilor.

Watch: Councilor Garganera’s reminder to establishments

The EOC said that contact tracing and disinfection would most likely take only 24 hours, but any sort of refusal would only grow the contacts of positive cases and the establishments could be closed for more than a day.

Garganera warns that athough the BPO industry is generally under Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA), and the city’s own Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) barely has hold over them, under a public health emergency, even BPOs have to answer to the local EOC.

The BPOs who refuse to follow the health protocols including the contact tracing when positive cases are identified, charges can be file against them for violating the Bayanihan Heal as One Act.

To further discourage the BPOs from hiding their positive cases, the EOC warned that if they would remain uncooperative, the establishment would be publicly named.

Read: Cebu City COVID-19 situation alarming, daily positivity rate reaches 7%

The EOC has always practiced confidentiality in terms of identifying establishments with positive cases whether public or private to avoid discrimination, even if naming them has been generally requested by the public.

This time, Garganera said that the EOC would reveal the names of uncooperative establishments to the detriment of their business reputation as they could already be considered as a public health risk simply for not following protocols.

This warning is not only for BPO or private establishments but also to government and other public agencies that refuse the contact tracing protocol.

As of now two barangay halls and one grocery store have been closed down temporarily for disinfection.

He said the grocery store could open today, but the two barangay halls might be closed down for the next two weeks.

The EOC refused to identify these establishments and barangay halls as they had been cooperative with the contact tracing so far. /dbs

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TAGS: BPOs, contact tracers, cooperative, Emergency Operations Center, EOC

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