COA Regional Office No. III Sets Alternative Work Arrangements and Safety Measures

01 June 2020 (updated July 13, 2020) – The Commission on Audit Regional Office No. III resumes office on June 01, 2020 under the General Community Quarantine category set forth by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF).

In line with this, our beloved premier institution has made available multiple alternative work arrangements like work from home (WFH) and skeleton workforce (SWF) for us to adopt while the entire country is placed under a State of Public Health Emergency due to the Coronavirus disease also known as the COVID-19.

The AWA comprises of the two-day work week and three-day WFH arrangements, combination of these or other work arrangements appropriate and applicable to our agency considering the community quarantine in our area where we are located and the nature of work being performed by the employees.

Work-from-home (WFH) refers to an output-oriented work arrangement that authorizes the worker to produce outputs/results and accomplishments outside of the office. This is in consideration to employees where public transportation is limited and physical/social distancing in the workplace is required.

Skeleton (Skeletal) Workforce pertains to a work arrangement where a minimum number of employees are required to man the office to render service when full staffing is not possible. Agencies in GCQ areas shall adopt skeleton workforce as one of its AWA.

For areas placed under GCQ, employees aged below 21 and those who are 60 years old and above, as well as those with immunodeficiency, co-morbidities or other health risk, pregnant women, including those who reside with the aforementioned, shall be under WFH arrangement, except when their services are indispensable under the circumstances or when office work is permitted.

In addition, safety measures are being strictly implemented inside the COA RO III premises. All persons entering the COA RO III shall be strictly screened by the guards-on-duty.  Health checklist is being filled out upon entry. The health checklist includes temperature, history of travel and other underlying health conditions. Visitors without official business with the Regional Office shall be totally denied entry.

For employees and COA-hired individuals under Job Order (JO), authorized liaison officers of different Audit Groups and official visitors with temperature above 37.5C or whose response to the health checklist questionnaire needs further assessment, will be referred to Ms. Riza P. Siron, a registered nurse from the Office of the Regional Director, who will do the proper recommendation.

COA RO III guard on duty checks the temperature of one of the employees entering the COA RO premises. Health checklist is being filled out also to assure proper safety protocols is being observed

Disinfection is being done in the entire regional office before the start of the work week. All work and common areas shall be cleaned and disinfected regularly. Frequently handled objects like doorknobs, handles and the like shall be sanitized at least once every two hours. Alcohol/Sanitizer is placed on every entrance of different offices.

Employees are encouraged to wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with water and soap which are provided in the restrooms. Furthermore, prolonged conversation or face-to-face interaction between employees and clients is being discouraged.

Moreover, loitering is strictly prohibited within the COA premises. To limit exposure and contact between and among the RO staff/employees, selected ATFS personnel/Jos shall be assigned to each offices to bring/route documents from one office to another. Official parcels, packages and mails shall be received by the guard on duty and will be turned over to the receiving staff for document tracking. Food and other personal deliveries must be transacted at the guard house near the entrance gate.

Additionally, Regional Office Order No. 2020-38 dated May 29, 2020 was issued for the designation of Roving Officers to check the observance of employees and visitors transacting with COA RO3 of safety and health protocols. They are to ensure that employees and visitors practice social distancing, wear face masks at all times and accomplish the daily health symptoms questionnaire before submission to the guard-on-duty.

OIC-Regional Director Chona P. Laxamana assures that the Regional Office will be responsive to the needs of the employees in these difficult times. “We continue to uplift excellent public service while protecting the safety of our employees. Let us stand united and proactive for a safe and secure workplace at this time of pandemic”, she added.

To inspire us, here is an excerpt from the 121st COA Anniversary message of our dear Chairman Michael Aguinaldo:

“You are a child of the universe,
No less than the trees and the stars;
You have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
Whatever you conceive Him to be,
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
In the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
It is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.”

Let us all observe self-responsibility to overcome this obstacle and stay safe always. This too shall pass.  -Janette Canlas Ama