DOLE: Voluntary masking allowed in private workplaces

Posted by DG, Date posted at November 6, 2022

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 3) — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has officially announced that the wearing of face masks in workplaces is now on a voluntary basis. This is following the order issued by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

bpo office setup

The update on DOLE’s detailed implementation and guidelines on Executive Order No. 7 was disclosed by Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma on Wednesday, he approved and signed Labor Advisory No. 22. For more details on this, you can check this link from DOLE:

DOLE noted that it renders the implementation of voluntary masking in private workplaces according to the hazards, risks, and structural details — such as if there is good air ventilation; if the workspace is enclosed; if conditions require a greater ratio of employees within a given space and if the nature of the offices render it vulnerable to having a high incidence of communicable diseases.

There are also DOLE recommendations citing exemptions coming from the executive order wherein face masks should be worn in healthcare facilities, medical transport vehicles like ambulances and public transportation. 

DOLE follows the executive order’s lead in encouraging the elderly, immunocompromised, unvaccinated, pregnant women, people with comorbidities, and individuals exhibiting flu-like symptoms to keep wearing face masks.

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Exemptions and other conditions

It is important to highlight the exemptions in great detail. There is still a risk of a possible spike in the positivity rate if carelessness or a lackadaisical approach to observing health safety standards is observed. 

MANILA – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has issued guidelines on the voluntary wearing of masks in workplaces nationwide.

DOLE mandates that the face masks will be strictly worn in three places:

Healthcare facilities

  • Hospitals
  • Clinics
  • Laboratories
  • Nursing homes
  • Dialysis clinics
  • Dental clinics

Public transportation

  • Land
  • Air
  • Sea

Medical transport vehicles

  • Medical transport vehicles
  • Ambulance
  • Paramedic rescue vehicles
  • By land, sea and air

Mask-wearing is highly encouraged, moreso, recommended to be worn for the following:

  • Elderly
  • Immunocompromised
  • Unvaccinated
  • Symptomatic individuals
  • Individuals with comorbidities
  • Pregnant women

It is imperative that both employers and employees should work together to keep the workplace safe. Should there be situations where mask-wearing will provide safety for all parties concerned, it’s up to the parties concerned to implement health standards and protocols accordingly. This should be in accordance with the provisions of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as amended by Republic Act 11058, and minimum public health standards.

DOLE is committed to continuous assistance as well as providing updates on this matter in a timely manner.

Looks like the country is now ready to take even closer steps of being back to pre-pandemic conditions. This is definitely a good move, especially for parties who have been affected heavily by the restrictions that spanned nearly three years. From my vantage point, as long as vaccines are continuously available and free — well, almost free — citing the ballooning debt of the country reaching mindblowing levels — the Covid19 virus can be kept at manageable levels of infection. Hopefully, obliterate the possibility of an outbreak.

Just comment below and let us know how this loosening of health protocols is for you. We value your feedback and thoughts on this, dear reader. Hope to hear from you guys, soon. Thanks!

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