The offices of some government agencies were locked down after COVID-19 infected some of their personnel.
This includes the main office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in Intramuros, Manila, which was closed from March 11 to 24.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez assured that the commission’s officers and employees are working from home.
“The problem really is with the field offices, because with the field offices, because of this reconfiguration of office spaces, what’s happening is you’re cutting the capacity of the office to handle the influx,” said Jimenez.
More than 1 million new voters have registered since January but it is possible that registration for next year’s elections will slow down after the Comelec reduced their operational capacity and implemented alternative work arrangements.
Previously, registration was from 8 am to 5 pm from Tuesday to Saturday, from March 22 to April 4, from 8 am to 4 pm from Monday to Thursday.
Satellite registration has also been suspended.
The main office of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Pasig City was also locked down after some staff tested positive for COVID-19.
Several gov’t offices under lockdown due to COVID-19
According to Education Undersecretary Annalyn Sevilla, this does not affect the teaching of teachers.
“All major operations especially for learning hindi dapat mahinto, kasi ‘yong blended learning natin nasa bahay naman,” said Sevilla.
DepEd is also investigating a training at the division office in Zambales, where department personnel allegedly had a COVID-19 infection.
According to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, it is possible that the lockdown on the Department of Justice will be extended if the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase in their department.
The pandemic has a small effect on their operation because many of the jobs can be work-from-home and hearings can also be held online.
Virtual committee hearings in the Senate also continue, albeit still locked down.
The Civil Service Commission also reminded government offices not to relax in following health protocols.
“Let us make sure that our workplace po, ng ating mga ahensiya ng gobyerno ay they are also protected,” said Civil Service Commissioner Aileen Lizada.