Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario (PNA file photo)

The Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development (DHSUD) released five mandatory requirements set for the developers before any resumption of construction works and other real estate activities during the implementation of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Housing Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario earlier signed Department Order 2020-005, which imposed mandatory construction guidelines and safety protocols to be observed by licensed developers and construction workers.

Under the department order, the contractor shall fund coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) testing to its workers — either a rapid test or a five-day quarantine.

This also includes setting up safe and hygienic on-site or near-site barracks and quarters for all workers.

The developers should ensure the provision of adequate assistance package for workers who may contract Covid-19 in the duration of their employment.

They should also ensure the provision of “group health or self-insurance coverage” for all workers involved in construction, and that workers are wearing face masks and other safe protective gear needed during the construction.

“Our guidelines are mandatory, we expect you to follow all these for the safety and protection of your workers, your project sites, and the general community,” Del Rosario said in a statement.

He also urged the developers to issue a certification upon the resumption of the construction works.

“Issue or send a certification to our regional offices electronically that you have already complied with the requirements and you can resume construction works after 24 hours,” he said.

Meanwhile, del Rosario warned developers of “stiff penalties if they fail to comply with the health protocols and safety guidelines.”

“Any non-compliance shall warrant the imposition of a cease and desist order against the covered entities,” he said.

He said the developers should expect an immediate project shutdown “if a worker tested positive to Covid-19 during the construction period.”

The DHSUD regional offices, he said, are tasked to conduct site inspections, “to ensure that the developers are complying with the mandatory minimum requirement” set for them. (PNA)