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ECOP calls for balanced quarantine policies

Employers have called for balanced quarantine policies stating they cannot possibly shoulder all the health and safety protocols on their own without government assistance.

“Assist companies in complying with labor standards and occupational safety and health measures,” said one of the Resolutions of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines at the conclusion of the 41st National Conference of Employers (NCE) the theme “The 21st Century Employer: Digital, Agile, and Resilient”.

Federico Marquez Jr., ECOP NCE41 Organizing Committee Chair, said that “Employers shall strive to become 21st Century Employers to protect and preserve jobs, uphold the covenants of tripartism, and faithfully comply with prescribed health protocols.”

The NCE has urged government to provide safe and efficient public transportation and shuttle services for easier mobility for private sector workers.

Under the health and safety protocols, companies are required to provide shuttle service for workers, temporary housing, isolation facilities in work areas, and encouraged to conduct COVID-test on its workers, among others.

As the official employer organization in the country, ECOP said they envisioned that employers across the country to take part in its ambitious goal of shaping a better future for business and work.

“But businesses alone cannot effectively hurdle the challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Philippine employers need the help and cooperation of the government, the labor groups, and other stakeholders to restart business operations to overcome the grave impact of COVID-19 and the ensuing harsh quarantine protocols,” Edgardo Lacson, ECOP Chairman, emphasized.

ECOP acknowledged its active role in developing national policies that would help ensure business sustainability and employment preservation.

The Resolutions also highlighted that businesses, particularly the micro, small, and medium enterprises, around the world were seriously unprepared for the epidemical outbreak of the COVID-19 that shuttered the global economy.

 “The implementation of quarantine protocols to prevent and control the spread of the virus radically impeded business operations, as employers face tough challenges in balancing operational issues with health and safety of workers,” ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said.

In the document, ECOP urged the government to craft quarantine policies that balance the need to protect life and livelihood.

These include reignite the economy and keep a healthy and resilient population; adopt policy reforms for job creation and employment preservation; accelerate roll-out of infrastructure for better internet connectivity; institutionalize private sector participation in curriculum development and technical and vocational training; streamline national emergency response and allow local government units to replicate the same; provide stimulus packages for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs); create an enabling policy and business environment to promote entrepreneurship, especially for start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs; improve the healthcare system to ensure a healthy population, particularly all sector workers; provide relief and incentives for businesses to recover losses; and increase government spending to induce demands in agriculture, manufacturing, and services sectors.

The NCE has also asked government to engage the private sector in social dialogue at all levels of policy- and decision-making processes.

The NCE, which ran from 30 June to 4 September, is an annual event which provides employers the opportunity to discuss among themselves, and with other stakeholders, key issues on employment, labor-management relations, and the general business climate.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2020/09/08/ecop-calls-for-balanced-quarantine-policies/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ecop-calls-for-balanced-quarantine-policies)

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