Over 1 million workers displaced due to COVID-19 pandemic
CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment reported that the number of displaced workers in the country has already breached the one million mark with 98 percent of close to 42,000 reporting establishments are seeking assistance under the agency’s social amelioration program.
DOLE is extending P5,000 one-time assistance under the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) to all workers affected by the health crisis.
A consolidated report from the different field offices of DOLE shows that some 1,048,649 workers in the formal sector were either affected by temporary closures or flexible work arrangements.
This is on top of the close to 250,000 informal sector workers needing assistance under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/ Displaced Workers Program-Barangay Ko, Bahay ko (TUPAD-BKBK) program.
As of April 11, the highest displacement was recorded in Metro Manila with about 246,810 workers, followed by Central Luzon at 179,875; Calabarzon with 99,178; Davao region at 90,414 and Region 2 with 75,189; then Central Visayas with 51,150; Cordillera region at 46,614; Region 10 with 46,351 and the Bicol Region with 41,322; Region 6 with 36,526; and MIMAROPA at 30,721 workers.
The areas with the least affected workers are CARAGA at 26,981; Region 8 at 24,940; Region 9 with 24,664; Region 1 at 17,378 and Region 12 at 11,536.
DOLE said most of the affected were displaced by the temporary closure of about 31,612 establishments involving 719,649 workers and another 10,224 enterprises resorting to flexible work arrangements such as reduction of workdays, work rotation, forced leave and work from home or telecommuting affecting 366,404 workers.
Majority of those workers belong to manufacturing, hotel, restaurants, and tourism-related sectors, and education.
Assistant Secretary Dominique Rubia-Tutay said DOLE was already able to assist about 180,000 workers with close to P900 million.
“With P1.61 billion in available funds under the program, the labor department will reach about 322,000 workers with the assistance,” Tutay said.
Aside from CAMP, the labor department also provides assistance under the TUPAD-BKBK program.
Director Karen Trayvilla of the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) said the TUPAD-BKBK program has so far extended assistance to some 138,000 informal sector workers as of Friday, April 10, and processed a total of 235,949 beneficiaries under the program.
In line with this, DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III is again appealing to big businesses to continue paying their workers and employees despite their being unable to work for the duration of the extended community quarantine.
“I once again knock in the kind hearts of our employers, especially the conglomerates and big businesses. Please extend further your generosity to your employees and workers. Your good-heartedness and compassion is a great help to the government,” Bello said. FPL (FREEMAN)