DOF ensures continuity of service as Manila office undergoes disinfection

Robie de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Finance (DOF) on Thursday assured continued service while its Manila office is closed for disinfection against the spread of novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said he has ordered the activation of an emergency working arrangement, which includes identified alternate locations where critical agency groups with skeletal forces will temporarily hold office.

“Under these arrangements, the DOF Building is abandoned and DOF holds office in alternate offices,” said Dominguez, who has gone under self-quarantine after learning he was exposed last week to a person who later tested positive for COVID-19.

DOF employees who will not be assigned to alternate offices will work from their homes for the duration of the office closure, the finance chief added.

Dominguez said the Policy Development and Management Services Group headed by Undersecretary Gil Beltran will determine the number of critical employees that can be accommodated in each of the alternate offices.

All undersecretaries have been directed to identify the critical offices and employees under their respective groups, collate the contact information of those working under them, and decide on how to issue instructions and receive outputs based on the facilities available to them.

“In view of limited working spaces, only critical employees and critical offices under each Undersecretary shall report for work in alternate offices. The rest will get instructions online and work in their respective homes,” Dominguez said.

DOF-attached agencies, including Bureau of Customs and Bureau of Internal Revenue, have also been ordered to thoroughly disinfect their respective premises this weekend.

Dominguez has also ordered the DOF-attached agencies—which include, among others, the BTr and the Bureaus of Customs (BOC) and of Internal Revenue (BIR)—to thoroughly disinfect all their respective premises this weekend.

Aside from the DOF, the Office of the President at Malacañan Palace; the offices of the Senate, Department of Budget and Management and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) complex in Manila; Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) in Pasay City; and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) headquarters in Mandaluyong City will also be closed for disinfection.

Aside from Dominguez, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade also voluntarily underwent self-quarantine.

The World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 as a pandemic as the number of people infected grew to over 124,518 with 4,607 deaths in 118 countries.

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