Sitel Palawan has temporarily ceased operations in its main branch in Eastville City Walk, Puerto Princesa City for 72 hours (three days) to undergo disinfection.

Officials said the branch began its suspension of operations on Friday and will resume on Monday, May 10.

Eden Gutierrez, Sitel Vice President for Operations and Cluster Leader for Palawan, told Palawan News in an interview Saturday, May 8, that the temporary closure was recommended by the City Inter-Agency Task Force (CIATF).

“It entailed a total shutdown of operations kasi kailangan walang tao sa loob habang nagdi-disinfect sila [city government.] We agreed immediately. A large portion of our labor force, around 300 employees, have been deployed for work-from-home [arrangements],” she said.

Gutierrez also confirmed that some employees already tested positive for COVID-19, but insisted that they did not get infected while on duty.

“There aren’t a lot of cases considering the size of Sitel. We have around 11 or 12 who tested positive in swab tests. However they did not acquire it at work, but at home. ‘Yong mga pinaka-first naming cases, may kapatid na nakuha nila sa ibang locations, mostly government offices,” she said.

“Ang ginagawa naman sa Sitel, we don’t wait for the IMT (Incident Management Team) to do the contact tracing, may internal team kami who does that. Automatic na pinapa-quarantine namin” she added.

She did not say how many employees were antigen-reactive.

Gutierrez said clients outsourcing their services have been informed of the closure. She said that some calls will be routed to their other branches all over the country.

She said regular employees at the company may use their vacation leave credits while the site is closed, while probationary ones will be on a no-work-no-pay basis.

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is a senior reporter for Palawan News who covers politics, education, environment, tourism, and human interest stories. She loves watching Netflix, reading literary fiction, and listens to serial fiction podcasts. Her favorite color is blue.