SM Supermalls has deployed additional safety protocol officers to remind customers to observe social distancing and queuing amid reports that shoppers violated COVID-19 guidelines during the resumption of mall operations during the weekend.
“Kung minsan sa unang bugso ng mga tao ay nakakalimot sila pero dinagdagan namin ang aming safety protocol officers para paalalahanan sila na sumunod sa ating mga patakaran,” Bien Mateo, SM Supermalls senior vice president for operations, said in an interview with Dobol B sa News TV on Monday.
He said officials of the Philippine National Police and local government units visited their malls Sunday to observe how physical distancing is being enforced.
“Kahapon halos lahat ng aming malls ay nabisita ng mga representante ng PNP at ng local government, nakita nila kung paano namin ipatupad ang social distancing sa customers,” he said.
He said it seems shoppers got excited with the opening of malls and some of them forgot the protocols.
“Nung unang araw ng pagbubukas ng 74 malls namin nationwide, halos lahat naman ay naipatupad namin ang mga patakaran na ipinasa sa amin ng IATF (Interagency Task Force) at local government. Merong nakakalimot, sa sobrang excitement nila nakakalimot sila sa social distancing,” he said.
Mateo said the shoppers followed the protocols whenever their attention were called.
“That’s why meron kaming tinatawag na safety protocol officers at 'yun ang kanilang trabaho na tawagin ang pansin at natutuwa kami na talagang 'pag tinawag mo ang kanilang pansin ay sumusunod naman po at nakakaintindi sila sa mga patakaran ng mga establisyemento,” he said.
SM Supermalls, in a statement Sunday, said no entry without masks and temperature checks are being implemented.
“The customers observed social distancing and queuing. At times when customers were too excited and forgot protocols, security guards and Safety Protocol Officers were on hand to remind them and to reinforce safe malling guidelines. The customers generally understood and followed all the social distancing protocols at the end of day. All safety protocols were communicated throughout the mall,” it said.
On Saturday, photos and videos of mall-goers violating physical distancing went viral on social media. Some netizens also narrated their experience on how precautionary measures were violated in malls.
Joint Task Force COVID Shield on Sunday warned that it would shut down malls that violate physical distancing protocols.
“As per instruction of the SILG [Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Eduardo Año], we will not only facilitate the closure of these malls but will also initiate the filing of appropriate charges against the management,” Task force commander Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar said in a statement.—AOL, GMA News