Peza chief reminds Chan: Duterte’s order allows exporters to continue operating despite Covid-19 pandemic

THE head of the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) reminded Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan about President Rodrigo Duterte’s order allowing the export, information technology and business process outsourcing locators to continue operating despite the threat of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).

In a letter to Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard Chan dated Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Peza Director General Charito Plaza said locators must continue their operations. However, the companies must deploy a skeletal workforce and they must adhere to the social distancing imposed by the government to prevent the spread of the Covid-19.

“Let me state, at the outset, (the) Peza is one with you in the worldwide collective effort to flatten the curve of this virulent coronavirus,” Plaza said.

Chan earlier said he was contemplating to temporarily stop the operations of three economic zones after their locators reportedly did not follow their agreement with the City to provide transportation for their workers.

If the mayor pushes through with the temporary closure, an estimated 100,000 workers from Mactan Economic Zone (MEZ) 1 in Barangay Pusok, and MEZ 2 and the Cebu Light Industrial Park in Barangay Basak could lose their jobs.

Plaza said she hoped that the mayor was guided by the policies issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF). In the time of community quarantine, Plaza said the IATF guaranteed the “unhampered and unimpeded movement of cargo,” and the personnel of Peza locators are allowed to work.

Plaza further said housing the locators’ workers at or near the economic zones could be safer for the workers than staying in homes or in cramped residences and boarding houses. (JOB)