A group of businessmen persuaded the Inter-Agency Task Force to permit employees to go back to their workplaces once 80% of Philippine workers are vaccinated. Joey Concepcion, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship, part of this group of businessmen, explained how doing so would help companies get back at their operations as they were pre-pandemic. He also added how a mixture of the in-office and work-from-home models could be more efficient as a set-up for most employees.
The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases is a task force that the executive of the Philippine government has organized. The task force responds to the concerns of emerging infectious diseases within the Philippines and deals with the spread of said contagious diseases. It is chaired by Chairperson Rodrigo Duterte and Chairperson DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III, co-chaired by Co-chairperson Karlo Nograles and Co-chairperson DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu, and spoken for by Spokesperson Harry Roque. Defend Jobs Philippines, a labor group, advocated that the government must ensure public transportation safety, the availability and frequency of the same, before businesses call their employees to work in-office. The spokesperson of the labor group, Lloyd Magsoy, emphasized that if employers and their businesses require employees to get back to work in-office, then there is some protocol to be maintained.
From high and steady vaccination rates, level of strict safety measures, and availability of sanitized public transportation systems, all of it should be intact before any such decision is made. “There’s no sense in asking employees to go back to their offices just to expose them to COVID-19. Workers should be able to return to work safely,” he stated. According to Philippines Lifestyle News, there is a lack of public vehicles in the nation currently. Passengers in the available public transport systems cannot practice social distancing due to traveling in close proximity. It is also expected that not everyone has a personal vehicle for the home-to-office commute.