BALANGA CITY — Department of Trade and Industry conducted today a surprise on-site inspection of restaurants in Bataan as dine-in services are now allowed in areas under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) and Modified GCQ.
DTI Provincial Director Nelin Cabahug stressed food establishments are now permitted by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to operate dine-in services provided that they are compliant with the minimum health protocols set by DTI.
“For dine-in restaurants here in Bataan, they are allowed up to 30 percent of their operating capacity as the province is under GCQ. Some restrictions will be relaxed once we are under Modified GCQ. At that point, they can operate up to 50 percent of their capacity,” Cabahug explained.
However, some food establishments visited were still not catering to dine-in customers as of today. DTI inspected three fast-food restaurants operating in Balanga City.
During the on-site monitoring, the DTI inspection team assessed the capacity, sanitation, personnel and health protocols of each establishment.
“So far, all inspected establishments were seen compliant with the minimum health and safety protocols of DTI,” Cabahug assured.
The DTI officials observed visible markings on the floor on the physical distancing for queues, personnel were wearing proper protective gears, availability of foot bath and alcohol upon entrance, and other safety standards to prevent the possible transmission of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
One of the fast-food chain restaurants inspected was only allowing 18 customers inside for the dine-in services, 30% from their usual of 60 customers or the maximum capacity. Employees present during operations were also cut to 30% of their usual workforce.
Cabahug also pointed out that social distancing inside every establishment was still observed as seats and tables were systematically arranged.
“Marking every seats and tables which should not be occupied by customers will guide them so face-to-face dining will be prevented,” she said.
Utensils were regularly sterilized after every use and were brought to new customers soaked in a glass of hot waters.
A manager of one of the inspected food establishments said even though they are now offering dine-in services, majorities still prefer take-out orders.
“So far, we only had three dine-in customers today. Usually, the restaurant can cater up to 120 customers, but for now, we only allow two customers to sit in each table, which can be occupied by four to six persons,” the manager revealed.
Cabahug stressed that they will continue to monitor other food establishments in the rest of Bataan on a regular basis.