Legal Updates for December 2020

DTI and DOLE Amend Guidelines on Workplace Prevention and Control of COVID-19

On 29 November 2020, the Department of Trade and Industry (“DTI”) and the Department of Labor and Employment (“DOLE”) issued Advisory No. 20-03 Series of 2020 which amended the DTI-DOLE Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2020-04-A. The amendments include the following:

  1. Shuttle services for employees of establishments with total assets of Php100,000,000 located at special economic zones and other areas under the Investment Promotions Agency may adopt the following: (i) “one seat apart” arrangement; or (ii) full seating capacity with the necessary dividers in place.
  2. Information on contact tracing form shall be limited to the name and contact number of customers, clients, examinees, and visitors. 
Emergency Use Authorization for COVID-19 Drugs and Vaccines

On 1 December 2020, President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued Executive Order No. 121 which authorizes the Director-General of the Food and Drugs Administration to issue an Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) for COVID-19 drugs and vaccines. The EUA is meant to strengthen the Philippine’s response against COVID-19, similar to other countries and the World Health Organization which have recognized the practice of issuing EUAs in order to fast-track the availability of COVID-19 drugs and vaccines when supported by strong evidence that patients have benefited from them.