#NewNormal: What Happens When the ECQ is Lifted?
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, May 06, 2020 11:18am
Art by Dani Elevazo
After two months of staying inside our homes, the government finally declares it will lift the enhanced community quarantine on May 2. Still, the threat of COVID-19 is still among us as there are no vaccines available. We can’t go back to the “normal” we’re used to before the pandemic. Eight house leaders proposed a new bill which will establish rules and policies in the workplace and public spaces.
The House Bill 6623 or the “New Normal for the Workplace and Public Spaces Act of 2020” is proposed to protect the health and safety of citizens as economic and social activities. Regulations and protocols are expected to be followed to “protect the vulnerable” and avoid transmission of the disease.
The Public’s Duty
Under this bill, the house leaders indicate Universal and Mandatory Safety measures. It includes wearing face masks in public places, making hand washing/sanitation stations available, social distancing, and temperature checking in public establishments. The government also implements proper monitoring of planned schedules for pedestrians traveling to and from their work b contract tracing.
Local Government Units will regulate the flow of people in public spaces like markets, parks, plazas, and gymnasiums. Private gatherings are also regulated and if the gatherings are not abiding by the universal and mandatory safety standards, authorities will set a fine for the violators.
Public transportation won’t be the same until further notice. You should sanitize your hands before boarding public transportation, wear a mask, and observe proper social distancing. As much as possible, the transport systems should use contactless payment. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to book Angkas or any other motorcycle taxis to prevent the spread of the virus through the helmets.
As for the transport hubs like ports, airports, and harbors, if possible, the management will test all the employees and mandatory quarantine the arriving passengers.
Back to School and Work Reminders
The bill proposes classes and academic activities will be suspended until further notice, but both private and public learning institutions are ordered to prioritize the establishment of learning platforms. It also mentions no students shall be “unreasonably penalized” for their inability to participate in online activities because they have no Internet connection or gadgets.
On the other hand, the LGUs will maintain a database profile for the industrial and commercial workplaces which includes information like number of employees, working hours, and workspace condition. And oh, if you like to eat at your favorite fast food place or restaurant, you would have to resort to take-out services only. No buffets, too.
Here's a quick summary of the proposed bill for you to share:
COVID-19 is still a big threat to our society. While there are no vaccines available, let’s do our best to cooperate with the rules and regulations to protect our health and loved ones.