Caring for TSPI family during COVID-19 Pandemic
This first issue of TSPI Newsletter highlights how TSPI cares for its clients, employees and their families amidst the prolonged COVID-19 quarantine period through its contingency program. TSPI is more than grateful for how God has sustained its operations, with a strong UGNAYAN – combined and determined efforts of the field personnel, Support Groups, Senior Management and the Board of Trustees. TSPI is also one with its partners consisting of private and non-government organizations, national agencies and local government in all the efforts towards good health, safety and livelihood protection and recovery. Hence, TSPI continues to deliver its programs and services, bringing hope and good news to the communities…pressing on towards the mission!
On March 12, 2020, the Government declared the Metro Manila-wide community quarantine to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Immediately the following day, TSPI made urgent and critical steps to comply and ensure the safety of the employees. Like a mother hen that needs to protect her delicate offspring, the Executive Director, Ms. Alice Z. Cordero, together with Atty. Leonarda Banasen, HR and Legal Head and Ms. Sandra G. Serapio, CFO, gathered each department to assess critical functions and tasks under a possible lockdown scenario. With the advice from TSPI President Rene E. Cristobal, the Management set up a skeleton work force and work from home arrangements with telecommuting agreements. Employees were allowed to leave the office early for their safety. Most of them were able to go home to their province before the declaration of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, three days after (March 16). Amidst the health threats and economic downturn during the pandemic, TSPI continued to extend support to its employees including information dissemination to ensure their health and safety.
Securing financial support to employees during the lockdown
During the two-month lockdown, when many companies stopped operating, TSPI secured financial support for its employees by providing advance salary pay-out for the months of March and April and released the 13th month pay. On top of that, employees whose leave credits were consumed were given access to BOT approved Emergency Loan with a one to two-year payment term. The HR group also provided assistance to employees to access services from government agencies.
All TSPI employees were oriented and certified on Covid-19 Health and Safety Protocol
Water.org, TSPI’s partner in advocating Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) program, initiated the development of Safety Protocol for Work (SPW) among microfinance institutions (MFIs). In this process, the guidelines issued by Department of Health (DOH), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) which are relevant to MFI operation were consolidated. TSPI customized the SPW into COVID-19 Health and Safety Protocol for employees with corresponding certification process for the participants. On May 4, 2020 the series of online orientation started with all the Operations Managers, then followed by a series of orientation for all head office and branch personnel. The Branch Managers were designated as Safety Officers. They were equipped to ensure that the staff are compliant and that protocols to handle health related concerns are observed across all TSPI branches.