MANILA – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is preparing new guidelines when construction of select big-ticket infrastructure projects resumes after the lifting of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, Secretary Mark Villar said Thursday.
Speaking to radio DZMM, Villar said among their priorities is the safety of construction workers.
“Hindi na puwede ang dati. Baka kailangan na ng social distancing, testing at handwashing facilities,” he said.
The DWPH will seek the approval of health authorities and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) before it resumes construction work which was stalled by the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
“Ipapakita sa grupo na ang gagawing protocol is safe… para at least maging kampante ang health officials na safe ang ating site... safe ang ating mga trabahador,” Villar said.
Construction of major infrastructure projects has been suspended since March, affecting around a million construction workers, mainly in Luzon, he added.
“Gusto ko rin mag-resume kasi maraming napaka-importanteng projects at maraming workers ang nangangailangan ng trabaho,” Villar said.
He also said the agency will conduct mass testing among its employees after 4 of them have died due to COVID-19.
Around P30 billion from the Duterte administration's “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program was reallocated to critical areas to help the government address the crisis.
The DPWH is currently focused on converting public and private facilities into massive quarantine facilities for COVID-19 patients.