MABALACAT CITY— In a bid to promote the importance of minimum public health standards (MPHS) in the combat against COVID-19, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and city government here in cooperation with various government agencies, awarded COVID-19 Safety Seals to compliant establishments in the city.

The Safety Seal Certification is a voluntary certification scheme that affirms that an establishment is compliant with the MPHS set by the government stipulated under Joint Memorandum Circular 21-01, Series of 2021 issued by the DILG, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Health (DOH), and Department of Trade and Industries (DTI).

An initial of three (3) city-based establishments have already earned their safety seals and were received by their respective focal representatives: Kim Valdez, Property Manager of SkyTech; Maro Dela Cruz, Branch Manager of McDonald’s San Francisco Branch; and John Paul Ingal, Administrative Personnel of Mang Inasal Mabalacat City Branch.

Mabalacat City Mayor Crisostomo Garbo said that the DILG’s granting of safety seals reaffirms the city government’s commitment in enforcing MPHS to provide a safe workplace for the Mabalaqueño workforce, and to protect consumers by guarding and cautioning establishments against the dreaded virus.

“Ang inisyatibang ito ay bahagi po ng malawak na programa ng pamahalaang nasyunal at ng siyudad kontra COVID-19 sa larangan ng prevention and infection control. Ang pamahalaang nasyunal ay may mandato po sa atin na i-monitor ang mga establisimyento gaya ng mga malls, wet markets, retail stores, restaurants, at iba pang mga pribadong institusyon upang masiguro na MPHS-compliant ang mga ito,” the city mayor said.

To get a safety seal, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said that private and public establishments must pass eligibility requirements patterned on the MPHS currently being implemented by the IATF and the national government.

“All establishments shall require health declaration and/or symptoms assessment; non-contact temperature check is performed to all employees, customers, and any individual who enters the premises; customers and other individuals who enter the premises are asked to register with; and, as applicable an isolation area for symptomatic employees shall be installed,” the DILG said.

“Among other requirements are the availability of handwashing stations, soap and sanitizers, and hand drying equipment or supplies to employees and clients/visitors which are placed in strategic locations in the establishment; observance of physical distancing or spacing through installation of physical barriers in enclosed areas where physical distancing may be compromised, i.e., blocking off of chairs, use of markers or stickers on the floor for spacing; and, ensure adequate air exchange in enclosed (indoor) areas,” DILG added.

In Mabalacat City, the issuance of Safety Seals is being supervised by the Planning and Development Office (CPDO) Chief Rosan Paquia, DILG-Mabalacat City Officer Rowena Ocampo, City Information Officer Jay Pelayo IV, the City Health Office (CHO), City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), and the Philippine National Police – Mabalacat City.

Safety seals are free and are valid for six (6) months from the date of issuance, except for tourism enterprises which are valid for one (1) year. Certification posters are conspicuously displayed indicating that the building or establishment is compliant to health protocols against Covid-19.