The Quezon City government has immediately ceased activities of seven construction firms and a maintenance service provider facility for health and safety violations and positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Department of Building Official (DBO) head Atty. Dale Perral said one of the seven construction sites recorded positive cases of COVID-19.
The remaining six firms committed violations of Order No. 39 of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), or the safety guidelines for the implementation of infrastructure projects, and the safe workplace guidelines of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
The firms will be required to complete quarantine protocols for 14 days and pass further assessment to ensure compliance with health and safety standards before they can resume on-site construction activities.
“As soon as they are cleared, then there will be no problem. The QC government will allow resumption of their operations,” Perral said.
Likewise, the city’s Business Permits and Licensing Department (BPLD) ordered the temporary closure of a maintenance service provider facility after a number of its employees tested positive for COVID-19.
“We have also instructed the immediate decontamination of the establishment to stop the further spread of the virus,” said BPLD head Margarita Santos.
She added that all business establishments within the city are being strictly monitored to ensure compliance with basic operational protocols and to guarantee safe occupancy among workers and the public.
According to Dr. Rolando Cruz, head of the city’s Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (ESU), employees who tested positive were brought to HOPE community-care facilities while those who were exposed were isolated and put under quarantine on-site.
“No one is allowed to leave the affected construction sites and establishments for 14 days. Representatives of DBO and ESU will visit to check on the status of the workplace and wellness of the affected employees,” said Cruz.
Last May, the national government has issued guidelines for the resumption of construction projects in GCQ areas, including the daily health monitoring of workers, and designation of a safety officer to check safety standards and quarantine protocols.
While the city wants to jumpstart the economy, Mayor Joy Belmonte said it cannot afford to be complacent as it could lead to a sudden rise in COVID-19 cases.
“We want to err on the side of caution. Nais man natin simulan ang muling pagbuhay ng ekonomiya ng lungsod, hindi natin maaaring isantabi ang mga isyung pangkalusugan na maaaring makaapekto sa karamihan,” said Belmonte.