BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
The Regional Project Coordination Office in Western Visayas is preparing to adopt the new guidelines set by the Social and Environmental Safeguards to combat the possible spread of COVID-19 among its employees and the public.
This was taken up during the implementation of projects under the Philippine Rural Development Project of the Department of Agriculture.
Ruby Labinghisa, RPCO Region 6 SES officer, said the new guidelines will include the PRDP components as they continue to gather inputs about the new framework.
“We have tackled the new sections for Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP) for our proposed infrastructures and enterprise projects,” she said.
The ESMP was already an existing plan of PRDP that covers the mitigation measures for complaints, environmental issues, and health hazards concerning its projects which were just modified and enhanced due to the crisis, she added.
Also, new instruments will be introduced to the components such as Enhanced Monitoring Checklist for Investment in Rural Enterprise and Agriculture and Fisheries Productivity (I-REAP) subprojects, she said.
There will also be a supplemental monitoring checklist on Community and Occupational Safety and Health for both Intensified Building up of Infrastructure and Logistics for Development (I-BUILD) and I-REAP, she added.
These are preparatory tools that can be used to trace the health status and contact history of every person involved in the PRDP projects if there is a possible transmission of the Covid-19, she said.
These guidelines could also be mainstreamed in the DA Region 6 programs, Labinghisa added.
“These supplementary guidelines and PRDP tools are still subject to consultation with the I-BUILD and I-REAP components for instructions and approval. Inputs from the provinces, contractors, and proponent groups will also be gathered until these will be finally rolled out,” Labinghisa also said.*