Tuesday, December 7, 2021
Home3PL/4PLLogistics providers can now fully operate even under ECQ

Logistics providers can now fully operate even under ECQ

Logistics service providers, including those providing cargo-handling, warehousing, trucking, freight forwarding and shipping services, may now operate in full in areas even under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), according to a new Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) circular.

Previously, only those logistics providers under general community quarantine (GCQ) may operate fully.

READ: Logistics firms now fully operational in GCQ areas

DTI Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 20-22, signed by Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez on May 5, included logistics service providers in the list of industries allowed to operate at full capacity in areas both under ECQ and GCQ.

Under the circular, a maximum of five personnel may operate cargo and delivery vehicles by land, with or without load.

MC 20-22 is in keeping with omnibus guidelines on community quarantine under Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) Resolutions No. 30 and 30-A, which were adopted in Executive Order (EO) No. 112 on May 2.

It must be noted though that the omnibus guidelines specifically listed logistics as part of industries that can operate at full capacity in areas under GCQ, but not in ECQ.

The closest reference to logistics sector under the omnibus guidelines are delivery services and these are allowed to operate with a skeleton workforce. Delivery services cover those in-house or outsourced, transporting food, medicine, or other essential goods, as well as clothing, accessories, hardware, housewares, school and office supplies, pet food and veterinary products.

According to MC 20-22, the movement of all types of cargoes by land, sea, and air should remain unhampered both in areas under ECQ and GCQ.

Workers in the logistics sector, such as cargo, trucking, and port operations, should be allowed to transit across areas placed under ECQ and GCQ.

However, only up to five personnel may accompany cargo and delivery vehicles.

Under the DTI circular, local government units (LGU) should strictly abide by the national policy of allowing cargo to pass unhampered. They may not issue orders contrary to or inconsistent with the directive such as requiring asymptomatic drivers and crew of cargo or service delivery vehicles to undergo mandatory 14-day home quarantine.

Strict and social distancing measures must be strictly observed which may include placing additional safe and humane seats or spaces in the vehicles.

The Philippine National Police retains its authority to conduct inspection procedures in checkpoints for the purpose of monitoring protocols on strict home quarantine.

Latest APOR list

Workers classified as Authorized Persons Outside of Residences (APOR) will be allowed to go outside their residences but only to report for work in industries allowed to operate and to obtain essential goods.

The latest APOR issued on May 5 by the Joint Task Force Corona Virus Shield includes employees of logistics service providers, including cargo-handling operators, warehouse operators, truckers, freight forwarders, and shipping lines.

The latest list, however, excludes workers in customs brokerage and container yards; they were part of the earlier list of APOR.

READ: More logistics staff exempt from ECQ travel restrictions

Customs brokers may, however, secure an accreditation pass from the Bureau of Customs to be able to travel and clear checkpoints. The accreditation pass, according to a memorandum signed by Customs commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero dated March 25, gives a qualified stakeholder physical access to BOC authorized premises and may be presented at any checkpoint.

READ: BOC-accredited stakeholders to get accreditation passes, exemption from quarantine

The IATF IDs previously issued by DTI are still honored at checkpoints, according to the omnibus guidelines.

Enrollment for RapidPass ID, which should be complementary to existing IATF IDs, is voluntary and only covers qualified private sector entities or persons.

Business activities and establishments allowed to operate should strictly implement the required public health standards prescribed by the Department of Health for offices/workplaces under Administrative Order No. 2020-0015 and DTI-Department of Labor and Employment Joint Interim Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19.

Business establishments are directed to report or notify public health authorities of employees and/or staff who show signs or symptoms of COVID-9 and must implement contact tracing in case a staff has been exposed to the coronavirus. – Roumina Pablo

Image by Alexandre Gonçalves da Rocha from Pixabay


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