DOLE: More than 200,000 workers displaced due to COVID-19 pandemic

By March 28, 2020 No Comments

MANILA, Philippines — More than 200,000 workers have been displaced due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported on Wednesday.

In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the DOLE regional offices reported that about 212,718 workers were displaced.

“These are just preliminary reports submitted to us,” Bello said.

Bello added that of the DOLE’s P1.5 billion assistance package, the department released P35 million to affected workers, both from the formal and informal sectors.

“We are fast-tracking the processing of companies that have submitted their establishment report so as those in immediate need will be able to benefit from this government assistance.

“We hope to cover at least fifty percent of those affected by next week,” Bello stressed.

The Labor chief added that the department has crafted an assistance program, where about 70,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) will be provided with $200 cash assistance.

As of Wednesday, the country has recorded 636 recorded cases of COVID-19 in the country, with 38 deaths and 26 recoveries.

READ: COVID-19 cases in PH soar to 636 with 3 more deaths

To contain the spread of the COVID-19, the entire Luzon was placed under enhanced community quarantine by President Rodrigo Duterte.

READ: Luzon now under ‘enhanced community quarantine’ – Palace

Under the period of enhanced community quarantine, “strict home quarantine shall be implemented in all households; transportation shall be suspended; provision for food and essential services shall be regulated, and heightened presence of uniformed personnel to enforce quarantine procedures will be implemented.”

Bello also appealed to employers to release the payment of their security agencies, as DOLE has been receiving reports that a number of companies have been “withholding their payments, leaving their security guards helpless.”

“I also wish to address those employees of security agencies that they may avail of the cash assistance from DOLE if they failed to report to their work due to the enhanced quarantine in their areas,” the DOLE chief added.

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TAGS: COVID-19, Department of Labor and Employment, novel coronavirus, Silvestre Bello III
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