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Easing Back To The Workplace With Our Re-entry Program

While the majority of A-People nationwide will continue working from home, about 12,674 Aboitiz frontliners — team members and subcontractors included — are set to return to their respective workplaces in June. They form the skeleton crew needed at the office or to operate our facilities based on their primary functions.

Anchored on the Aboitiz Group's longer term business continuity strategy, the company has prepared stringent guidelines under the 'workplace re-entry program' following the lifting of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon and select areas across the country.

What has become clear is that after the ECQ, the way we work will no longer be the same as before. We will be operating in a new normal and a new business environment, a situation that we need to adapt to with resilience. We are committed to continuously collaborate with the government in firing up the economy, which undoubtedly took a hit during this pandemic.

– Sabin M. Aboitiz, President & CEO, Aboitiz Group

SMA said the entire organization will proactively implement the re-entry program to ensure the protection of team members and all stakeholders while allowing companies to continue servicing the vast majority of customers.

Read also: From The Group CEO: Return To Work Policy

Return To Safe Workplaces

Re-entry will follow a phased approach and will begin with a thorough online risk assessment for the aforementioned frontliners that will be conducted by its partner health maintenance organization (HMO), Maxicare Healthcare .

After the preliminary assessment based on their risk exposure and medical condition, frontline team members will undergo screening and antibody testing using rapid test kits and will be referred to accredited hospitals and laboratory partners.

This process will help the company determine who may return to work or would need further testing. Those who are cleared will be given a ‘return-to-work certification’ or an Immunity Pass. Standard testing will be done every two weeks beginning the date of their return to work but the risk will be determined from a person's level of exposure.

The company will also cover expenses related to testing and hospitalization of team members. Regular monitoring and re-testing will continue until 2021 as Aboitiz constantly applies enhancements to protocols in the event of a resurgence of cases to ensure continuity of business operations.

Physical Distancing and Germ-Proofing

Local and international travel continues to be widely discouraged in line with the existing policy on physical distancing while guidelines for building and facilities and regular germ-proofing would still be in place. But as team members go back to the office, several changes are going to be noticeable.

Visitors are strictly not prohibited from entering the offices and site facilities but a designated ‘staging area’ for drop-off and pick-up of important documents and packages has been allocated.

Premises are thoroughly and regularly sanitized, including communal areas, elevators, workstations, facilities, and equipment. Thermal scanning, footbath, alcohols and sanitizers, and mandatory face masks are some of the new constants.

Modifications have also been made for accessing the different offices and floors; proximity cards will now be used instead of biometric scanning for entry and non-contact sensors for exiting.

As most team members are still working from home, NAC and ORE Central offices will have a reduced occupancy but properly physical distancing will still be imposed. Tables will be marked to guide which seats can be used. Video conferencing is still encouraged within the office to avoid face-to-face communication. All meetings and other activities with external parties (i.e. conferences) will still be conducted online.

The company’s office cafeteria will also be catering to a limited number of people at a given time. Frequently-touched self-service equipment such as dispensers and vending machines are temporarily deactivated while disinfection stations are put in place. Team members are also encouraged to bring their own utensils, water bottles, and mugs and use microwave ovens that will be provided at each floor’s pantry.

To help team members get to work in ways that comply with proper health and safety protocols, a ridesharing mobile app called ‘Pasabay’ Project has been developed, which will allow them to either book or offer a ride to fellow A-People based at the Taguig Corporate Center.

“The COVID-19 crisis is, without any doubt, a true test of resilience but with the extraordinary dedication of our team members, demonstrating our time-tested values of innovation, teamwork, integrity, and responsibility, we are confident that we will be able to deliver on our commitments seamlessly.”