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DOLE chief praises factory in Marikina as a model workplace during pandemic

/ 12:11 AM September 14, 2020
 Joao Brigio and Silvestre Bello III

Joao Brigido (left), Philip Morris International director for operations, gives Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III a tour of the Philip Morris factory in Marikina. (Photo from the DOLE Facebook page)

MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III recently cited the Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Co. (PMFTC)  plant in Marikina as a model workplace during the global pandemic, according to a statement released on Friday by the Department of Labor and Employement (DOLE).

In a visit to the factory on Thursday, Bello praised the multinational firm, the Philippines’ biggest cigarette maker, for strictly adhering to safety and health protocols required by government to control the spread of the coronavirus disease.

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“The chances of transmission of the virus within this facility is low. It is heavily protected by safety and health protocols,” Bello said, as he was welcomed by Philip Morris International (PMI) director for operations Joao Brigido.

As he was being toured by Brigido around the manufacturing complex, Bello was impressed by the strict implementation of physical distancing and the wearing of face masks and shields.

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Bello also took note that disinfectants like alcohol were easily accessed by workers at strategic locations of the facility.

“It only shows the utmost sincerity of PMFTC to work with government in protecting Filipinos at workplaces,” Bello said.

“I am truly glad that PMFTC has become a partner of the government in fighting COVID-19. By promoting safety at the workplace, they stay in business and preserve employment for our countrymen,” he added.

The factory employs about 1,200 workers.

Joining Bello in the visit was Commission on Higher Education chairman Prospero de Vera III, who is also part of the Coordinated Operations of Defeat Pandemic (CODE) team, and Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro, who discussed the city’s remarkable campaign against the outbreak.

The CODE team went to Marikina in its  effort to coordinate the COVID-19 response of the national and local governments.

During the discussion, Bello reiterated the need for strict observance of safety and health protocols at workplaces.

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“My only request from employers and workers is that they follow the guidelines of the government in fighting CoVid 19. We can defeat the virus if we fight as one,” he added.

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, DOLE, Joao Brigido, Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Co. plant, PMI, Silvestre Bello III
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