The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11 reminds all business establishments to continuously follow the minimum health public standards (MPHS) while urging everyone to get a Safety Seal certification.  

With the anticipated rise in the COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, the agency reiterated its call for strict compliance with the set guidelines on how to lessen the possibility of spreading the virus, especially in closed spaces. Along this line, DTI 11 emphasized that even with the Alert Level 3 classification of some parts of the region from 14 – 31 January 2022, this will not stop its team from visiting businesses, particularly those that are applying for a Safety Seal. 

The Safety Seal Certification program is an Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) directive that aims to ensure that public places have been strictly complying with MPHS and other related protocols and requirements to operate safely.  

Under the IATF Resolution No. 87 s. 2020, DTI, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Tourism (DOT), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), and Department of Health (DOH), are directed to put in place standards for business operation during the pandemic. Each of these government agencies covers various business types when it comes to Safety Seal issuance. 

The DTI, for example, is responsible for the application and monitoring of the following: 1) groceries, supermarkets, and membership shopping clubs; 2) convenience stores; 3) construction supply/hardware stores; 4) outlets of logistics service providers; 5) barbershops and salons; and 6) service and repair shops.  

Further to the Safety Seal certification requirements, the concerned government offices issued Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 21-01 series of 2021. Through this program, the online platform was adopted as the official contact tracing application in monitoring the compliance of establishments with the health protocols. 

DTI 11 Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi explained that consumers are assured that a Safety Seal-certified establishment is compliant with the requirements that will help protect them. 

“By applying for and getting the Safety Seal, the establishments are assuring consumers and stakeholders that the government has inspected them and that they have been found to be compliant with the minimum public health standards,” the regional trade official said. 

In 2021, DTI 11 received a total of 165 Safety Seal applications, through its six provincial offices. Of this number, 101 were approved: Davao City had 63 approved applications; Davao Oriental, 17; Davao del Sur, nine; Davao del Norte, six; Davao Occidental, four; and Davao de Oro, two. The majority of the establishments approved by DTI were convenience stores, groceries, supermarkets and shopping clubs, construction supply/hardware stores, and barbershops/salons. Meanwhile, seven were service and repair shops and one outlet of a logistics service company.  

 SAFETY SEAL. This barbershop inside one of Davao City’s major malls is among the recipients of the Safety Seal in 2021.
SAFETY SEAL. This barbershop inside one of Davao City’s major malls is among the recipients of the Safety Seal in 2021. DTI 11

Ambi explained that some were disapproved since they fell short of the adopted requisites, while others were forwarded to the concerned government agencies that should issue their Safety Seal certificate. Public establishments may apply with the DILG, while tourism-related enterprises and restaurants inside hotels and resorts may apply with DOT. Manufacturing, construction, utilities, warehouses and media companies may apply with DOLE, while malls, retail stores, restaurants outside hotels and resorts, cinemas, gyms and spas, and other private establishments may apply with their respective local government units. 

The Safety Seal is valid for six months from the date of issuance, except for those awarded to tourism enterprises, which carry a validity of one year. After the said period, the concerned establishments may apply for renewal, which shall be granted based on their continued compliance with the eligibility requirements.  

Ambi further stressed that while the Safety Seal is not mandatory for the continued operation of establishments, the presence of the seal in the establishments is a welcome assurance of their sense of commitment to safety, especially in the midst of a pandemic.  

To register, interested establishments may visit the Safety Seal Certification microsite of the issuing authorities.  The nearest DTI office can be contacted as well regarding this concern, or for any clarifications. 

In Davao City, the agency can be reached at landline number (082) 224-0511 local 417. A message can be sent, too, to DTI 11’s official Facebook page, the DTI Region 11, for more convenience. ♦

Date of Release: 20 January 2022