We need greater flexibility to adjust to the evolving COVID-19

Business groups as they express apprehension to the Better Normal bill

With a lot of uncertainties surrounding COVID-19, there should be enough room for flexibility and adjustment in case new discoveries are made about the disease which shall lead to further improving and amending existing government policies and/or guidelines, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport) and the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) said as they expressed reservation to the New Normal bill.

 

In their joint position paper, the business groups cited that there are already existing guidelines that address the need to protect and ensure the health and safety of everyone.  They stressed that the passage of the bill into law shall only limit government acts rather than being able to address the issue at hand freely and legally.   Once a bill is enacted into law, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for government agencies to address issues that are beyond the ambit of the provisions of law.

 

On August 10, the House of Representatives approved the “Better Normal for the Workplace, Communities and Pubic Spaces Act of 2020.  Its counterpart measure at the Senate is pending in the Committee of Health and Demography.

 

The bill establishes public health and environmental standards and safeguards for the better normal in the workplace, public places, and communities.  Among others, it will make mandatory the wearing of face masks in public areas and work places and the observance of physical and social distancing.  Temperature checking of persons entering a business establishment, government building, workplaces and other enclosed public areas will also be mandatory.  Owners, managers and administrators of public spaces and work areas will also be mandated to set up hand-washing facilities and sanitizing stations.

 

Copy of the position paper can be downloaded here.

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