Malacañang announced that public and essential private construction work and infrastructure projects are now allowed under both enhanced and general community quarantine (ECQ, GCQ), but employers and workers must strictly follow health guidelines and those approved by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
In an announcement over state-run PTV-4, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the following construction works are allowed:
Facilities for the health sector like quarantine and isolation facilities;
Climate mitigation projects like flood control, disaster risk control, and rehabilitation; and
Sewerage projects, water service facility projects, and digital works, among others
Priority infrastructure projects, as well as priority private infrastructure projects related to the following, arE also allowed in accordance with the guidelines issued by the DPWH:
Business process outsourcing
The Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) likewise exempted construction workers accredited by the DPWH from quarantine restrictions so they can travel to the project sites.
Meanwhile, Roque said construction and infrastructure projects should comply with construction safety guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The omnibus guidelines for the implementation for the ECQ and GCQ released last week stated that construction workers accredited by the DPWH were allowed to work on quarantine and isolation facilities, including those for the health sector, emergency works, flood control, and other disaster risk reduction and rehabilitation works.
Essential public and private construction projects, such as but not limited to sewerage, water services facilities, digital works, health facilities, priority projects, shall be allowed to operate in accordance with guidelines issued by the DPWH.
Roque earlier said the IATF would be taking another look at allowing construction and infrastructure projects to proceed during the lockdown following concerns raised by local government units that it was impossible to implement social distancing at the project sites.
However, he said the IATF has given a special approval on big-ticket infrastructure projects in the National Capital Region.
“Baka nga po hindi masunod ang nakalagay sa guidelines na lahat sila ay pupwede na. So baka maging case-to-case basis na naman po ‘yan,” Roque said. (The guidelines may not be followed because of this so we might end up with a case-to-case basis.)