SBF: Review SOP to increase workforce capacity in Sarawak’s southern zone

File photo for illustration only. Photo credit: Pixabay

KUCHING, Sept 23: Sarawak Business Federation (SBF) has called on the State Disaster Management Committee (SDMC) to review the current standard operating procedures for southern Sarawak to allow both the public and private sectors as well as businesses to operate at the optimum level while adhering to Covid-19 regulations.

The districts in the Southern Region of Sarawak comprising Kuching, Samarahan, Lundu, Bau, Serian, Tebedu, Asajaya and Simunjan are currently still under Phase 2 of the National Recovery Plan (NRP).

SBF, in a statement today, viewed that a revision of the standard operating procedure (SOP) for the Southern Region should be carried out to come up with different strategies, given that Sarawak has achieved a high vaccination rate among its adult population.

“With the public now allowed to dine-in at food and beverage outlets, there is no reason for us to continue to put a cap on the capacity of the workforce, be it in the private or public sector.

“It is crucial for supporting and maintaining the livelihoods of many people, particularly after achieving such a high rate of vaccination in the State,” SBF emphasised.

The Federation also appealed to the State government to increase the workforce capacity for the civil service so that the delivery of services to the businesses and general public would not be unduly disrupted.

“The government departments and statutory agencies should follow the same guidelines to normalise the civil service, which is instrumental to the recovery of our fragile economy,” it added.

SBF was referring to the steps taken by the Federal government to further ease restrictions in facilitating the reopening of the economy recently in which all offices in the private sector operating in states under NRP Phase 2 will be allowed to operate under certain conditions starting Sept 17.

Under the revised guidelines, offices in the private sector would be allowed to operate at full capacity if 80 per cent of their workforce has been fully vaccinated.

For the private sector which has 60 per cent of their workforce fully inoculated, their offices can resume operations with a capacity of not more than 80 per cent.

Those which only have 40 per cent of their workforce fully vaccinated can only resume operation of their offices at a capacity of 60 per cent.

Meanwhile, for areas in Sarawak still under NRP Phase 2, the workforce capacity for the private sector is limited to 50 per cent, with exception to identified essential sectors.

In addition, only employers, operators and workers who have been fully vaccinated with two-doses of vaccines are allowed to be at work physically.

Apart from complying with the SOPs, employers are also encouraged to carry out self-testing with rapid antigen test-kit on a regular basis to ensure that their workers are free of Covid-19.— DayakDaily