Amid COVID-19, Peza to continue operations
The Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) has directed all ecozones and offices nationwide to continue operating, albeit with a reduced workforce, to assure the unhampered service to its clients and locators.
In a statement, Peza Director General Charito Plaza said she had instructed all workers and clients of all Peza offices and ecozones to do alternative work schemes instead.
This develops as President Duterte announced the community quarantine of Metro Manila, which began on midnight of March 15 and will last up to April 14. The number of infected individuals has been increasing every day.
The quarantine is meant to curb the spread of the contagious COVID-19, but exceptions to the rule—such as allowing workers in the provinces to still go to Metro Manila—might defeat the purpose.
“We are doing our best not to cripple the economy but also to protect each other in times like this because, as Filipinos, it is our inherent duty to our flag and our country. At the same time, we want to give the best quality of service to our clients despite the threat of COVID-19,” Plaza said.
For Peza’s head office and zone offices in Metro Manila, their respective deputy director generals and NCR (National Capital Region) zone managers will determine what will be the alternative work scheme of their employees.
For those in the public zones and special zones outside the capital, a four-day work week will be implemented. This will consist of two work schedules from Monday to Thursday, and Tuesday to Friday. During these days, employees can come in between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. or 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Peza also wrote to the Department of the Interior and Local Government to assist in unhampered land travel in and out of Metro Manila for employees and cargoes of industries.
“Passes/stickers shall include Peza-accredited trucks transporting goods that are either for import or export of
Peza-registered companies,” Plaza said.
Meanwhile, Peza also tapped the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to ensure the continuous production operations of the locator enterprises operating in the various Peza ecozones.
“We informed the BOC that the authority has resolved to be ‘business as usual’ to ensure unhampered service to our clients,” she said.
Aside from these, Peza has issued a memorandum circular that authorized Peza-registered information technology and business process management (IT-BPM) and export enterprises to implement certain measures without the need of getting a letter of authority from Peza.
These measures include allowing the following people to work from home: those who do critical services in IT-BPM companies, those who have COVID-19 symptoms but can still work, and workers exposed to people with COVID-19 symptoms. Peza is also allowing IT-BPM companies to redistribute or reassign their workers to other branches, regardless if they are registered under Peza or not. INQ
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