At least 25,000 individuals have permanently lost their jobs last January alone amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Friday.
“Meron po tayong 25,226 na manggagawa from 1,421 food establishments na tuluyan nang nawalan ng trabaho ngayong Enero,” Labor Assistant Secretary Dominique Tuyay said during the Laging Handa briefing.
Likewise, Tuyay said there around 108,000 workers that could fully return to full-time work once quarantine restrictions are eased.
“Meron pa rin po tayong 108,000 workers na under flexible work hours or those working for temporary closed establishment. Kapag lumuwag na ang ating [restrictions sa ating] ekonomiya, ito pong mga 108,000 ay maaring tuluyang makabalik sa five days, six days a week [na trabaho],” she added.
The Labor department has already proposed a three-month subsidy for workers amounting to P7,000 to P11,000 per worker every month.
Tuyay said that this is worth P62 billion to P180 billion.
This proposal, however, is still pending before the desk of President Rodrigo Duterte.
“The wage subsidy…we have submitted it to the Office of the President because we want to preserve the employment ng ating mga kababayan,” Tuyay said.
“Iyong workers ng temporarily closed businesses, mga 2.5 million workers po ang affected riyan,” she added.
Tuyay said that the wage subsidy can be sourced from what what is left of the P4.1 trillion 2020 national budget, savings from P165 billion Bayanihan 2 law and other fund sources to be identified by the Department of Budget and Management.
The country was supposed to transition to eased Modified General Community Quarantine (MGCQ) protocol by March 1, but this has been deferred by President Duterte pending the rollout of the country’s COVID-19 vaccination program.
The MGCQ protocol allows expanded public transport and business operations and eases restrictions on mass gathering, specifically allowing a venue to be occupied at 50% capacity.
Pressed on specific targets set, if there are any, concerning the timeline of the country’s transitioning to MGCQ this week, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles did not provide a clear answer.
“What we do in the IATF is we make recommendations to the President before the first day of the month. In terms of timeline, that might be the same procedure we will follow,” Nograles said in a virtual meeting.
“For the month of March, we will see the rollout of the vaccination program. By the end of March, we will make our recommendation to the President. But at any given point in time, the President may also make a decision with regard to placing the country under MGCQ within the month of March,” he added.—AOL, GMA News