IN ECQ, MECQ AREAS: DPWH bans small-scale construction projects

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    The Department of Public Works and Highway (DPWH) has issued an order prohibiting construction works of small-scale projects in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

    A new set of construction safety guidelines is now in effect for the implementation of public and private infrastructure projects pursuant to the latest announcement to place the greater Metro Manila Area back to ECQ.

    Mark Villar, DPWH secretary, issued the new Department Order #30 which follows the recommendations of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases and other relevant government agencies .

    Per the latest order, all essential public and private construction projects shall be allowed at full operational capacity in areas under ECQ and MECQ , subject to strict compliance with the new construction safety guidelines, with the exemption of small-scale projects.

    “In ECQ and MECQ areas, we are prohibiting the operation of small-scale projects that are private and personal use, and which, because of scale, would impractically be unable to comply with our guidelines,” said Villar.

    Essential public and private infrastructure projects allowed to operate during ECQ and MECQ include the construction of: health, quarantine, and isolation facilities for COVID-19 patients including dorms for healthcare workers; vaccination centers or facilities necessary for supply, distribution, and administration of vaccines; health, quarantine, and isolation facilities for COVID-19 patients.

    Also allowed are the construction of sewerage and water service projects, and digital works; priority public infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, flood-control, and active transport facilities; and priority private infrastructure projects to include facilities for food production, agriculture, fisheries, energy, housing, communication, water utilities, manufacturing, and business process outsourcing.

    Under the latest construction safety guidelines, civil works contractors must ensure that workers are fit to work prior to deployment.

    Prior to deployment, employers are encouraged to collaborate with national and local government testing and ensure that employees who are at risk of contracting COVID-19 shall be tested. Should

    Large and medium-sized private establishments with total assets above P15 million are encouraged to provide shuttle services to their employees, compliant to the minimum public health standards; and designate an isolation area of one room for every 200 employees.

    If one confirmed case of COVID-19 is detected, any construction site shall be locked down for 24 hours for disinfection. Employers are required to report cases to the Department of Health and comply with the contact-tracing protocols.

    Concessionaires, contractors, and subcontractors, suppliers, its responsible officers, directors or employees, who violate any of the provision of the new guidelines may face termination/rescission of contract without prejudice to the imposition of additional administrative sanctions as the internal rules of DPWH may provide and/or further criminal action that may be filed.