TIONGCO SIAO BELLO & ASSOCIATES LAW OFFICES
Nov 7, 2022
On 02 November 2022, the Department of Labor and Employment (“DOLE”) issued the Guidelines on the voluntary wearing of face masks in workplaces (“Labor Advisory No. 22, series of 2022”), following the issuance of Executive Order No. 07, series of 2022 which allows the voluntary wearing of face masks in indoor and outdoor settings.
Pursuant to Labor Advisory No. 22, series of 2022, the wearing of face masks in workplaces by workers in the private sector is now voluntary or optional. However, this option is not available to workers in the following settings:
Healthcare facilities, including but not limited to, clinics, hospitals, laboratories, nursing homes, and dialysis clinics;
Medical transport vehicles, such as ambulance and paramedic rescue vehicles; and
Public transportation by law, air, or sea.
In addition, while the following workers have the option of not wearing face masks as long as they do not work in the workplaces enumerated above, they are nonetheless “highly encouraged” by the DOLE to wear face masks:
Unvaccinated, and symptomatic individuals;
Individuals with comorbidities; and
It must be noted, however, that employers are given the freedom to require their employees to wear face masks, taking into account the hazards and risks of the workplace (such as, but not limited to, enclosed spaces or poor ventilation), industry requirements (such as, but not limited to, food safety requirements), and incidence of other communicable diseases (such as, but not limited to, the flu and tuberculosis), including measures to address non-
compliance thereto pursuant to the existing company policy, rules, and regulations.
Despite the issuance of Labor Advisory No. 22, series of 2022, employers and their workers are reminded of their shared responsibility to ensure safe and healthful working conditions. Pursuant to Executive Order No. 07, series of 2022, the minimum public health standards shall nevertheless continue to be implemented.
We hope to have guided you on this matter.