by Rudy Parel, Jr. & Jan Derrick Pertez
LOS BANOS, LAGUNA — Apartment and dormitories in Brgy. Batong Malake laid their own set of guidelines and protocols in preparation for limited F2F activities of nearby universities.
When the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) declared Alert Level 1 in Laguna on March 16, restrictions in public transportation and establishments were relaxed, and intrazonal and interzonal travel have been open for all regardless of one’s age and comorbidities.
With the easing of restrictions, owners of dormitories and apartments planned the necessary protocols for their facilities in preparation for new tenants in the following months.
Ms. Veronidia Naval, owner of VAMN House Apartment, chose to implement the minimum health protocols in line with IATF-EID’s regulations, which include the following:
- Observance of social distancing;
- Mandatory wearing of face masks inside the premises;
- Limiting the capacity of people entering the rooms or units; and
- Prohibiting the visitors of tenants to stay overnight.
Romeo Tuiza, Jr., the co-owner of Tuiza Apartments and Dormitories, said that they would be lenient towards their protocols, which include the following:
- Parcels should be disinfected;
- Limited numbers of visitors only are allowed;
- Only 66% capacity will be used for all rooms; and
- Masks within the facility, social distancing, and disinfectants for each room are still mandatory.
Naval and Tuiza said that interested tenants need to present their vaccination cards if they plan to occupy the facility. Both of them also assured that they will provide necessary assistance in case a tenant tests positive for COVID-19, including the provision of medicine, food, and financial aid.
According to Tuiza, they have no specific measures for the different alert levels of IATF-EID’s COVID-19 Alert Level System.
The protocols provided by the business owners were solely based on their own discretion as the Local Government Unit (LGU) in Brgy. Batong Malake has not provided concrete guidelines or directives for dorm and apartment owners to follow.
This claim was confirmed by Barangay Kagawad Jomer S. Eusebio. “Hopefully nga magkaroon na ng guidelines para sa pagpasok ng face-to-face [classes] dito sa atin,” he said.
(“Hopefully, there will be guidelines for the return of face-to-face [classes] in our area.”)
Nonetheless, they are planning to conduct a formal meeting with the nearby universities to formalize the protocols and guidelines for all dormitories and apartments.
Meanwhile, Tuiza is hopeful that the upcoming face-to-face activities will further improve the situation of their business.
“Bilang co-owner na din ay masaya na din sa side namin kahit papaano ay mabubuhay na din ‘yung business,” he said.
(“As a co-owner, I am happy that our business will somehow thrive again.”)
Laguna will remain in Alert Level 1 until May 15.