SBMA chair and administrator Wilma T. Eisma issues a Safety Seal to Harbor Point Ayala Mall general manager Lesly Manalo to certify the mall’s compliance with health safety protocols. Photo by Malou Dungog
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT — The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority began certifying business establishments here for their compliance to safety measures as part of a government program to ensure public safety during the Covid-19 pandemic.
SBMA chair and administrator Wilma T. Eisma on Monday issued the first “Safety Seal” certification from the agency to Harbor Point Ayala Mall, which was represented by Engr. Lesly Manalo, the general manager.
Eisma, assisted by Manalo, also posted “Safety Seal” signs at the entrance of the mall to assure customers that the establishment complies with the health and safety protocols required by the government.
“The Safety Seal is important because it reflects the stringent safety measures enforced by SBMA over the freeport,” Eisma explained.
She added that the Safety Seal Certification Program was created to safely reopen the economy while ensuring the public of the establishment’s compliance with the minimum public health standards set by the government.
Manalo, on the other hand, said the certification “will help boost the confidence of our shoppers and the general public that it is safe go to Harbor Point, and that the SBMA is strictly monitoring us in the implementation of safety measures.”
The safety certification program is being implemented under the Joint Memorandum Circular No. 21-01 issued last April by the Department of Labor and Employment, Department of Health, Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Tourism, and Department of Trade and Industry.
Among the requirements for certification are compliance with registration or accreditation requirements; use of StaySafe.ph or any contact-tracing tool integrated with it; enforcement of minimum public health standards (MPHS), including screening or triage area at different points-of-entry; availability of handwashing stations, soap and sanitizers, and hand drying equipment or supplies; and observance of physical distancing.
The program also requires adequate air exchange in enclosed areas; disinfection protocol; wearing of facemasks, face shields especially in enclosed places; establishment of a referral system for medical and psycho-social services; designation of safety officer; and facility for proper storage, collection, treatment, and disposal of used facemasks and other infectious wastes.
According to SBMA deputy administrator for health and safety Ronnie Yambao, the SBMA’s Health and Safety Department has been inspecting business locators here and monitoring their compliance with safety protocols.
He said the PHSD expects to complete the certification process for other Subic Freeport locators that have applied for safety seal and also enjoins others to participate in the program
“If they want to apply for the safety seal, the PHSD through the Occupational Health Division would be available to visit their facility and make an assessment,” Yambao said.
The safety seal is valid for six months and is renewable.