DOLE: Displaced workers due to COVID-19 crisis nearing 500K
MANILA, Philippines — Almost 500,000 workers have so far been displaced by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis now gripping the country, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said Sunday.
In a statement, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said that 9,028 establishments have reported that 317,171 of their workers have been displaced due to temporary closures or by flexible work arrangements as of March 27.
Meanwhile, preliminary field reports showed that another 117,890 informal sector workers have also been affected, Bello added.
Because of this, Bello directed DOLE regional offices and implementers of DOLE key assistance programs to “relax requirements and exercise flexibility” in processing establishment reports for the release of assistance.
Among the programs being administered by DOLE are the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) and Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Displaced/Disadvantaged Workers (TUPAD)-Barangay Ko, Bahay Ko (#BKBK).
An initial P2 billion has been made available for the programs, the DOLE chief stated, while another P5 billion eyed for the remainder of the national health emergency period.
“There is no substitute to the expeditious release of the money to workers who should be benefiting from the government assistance by now,” Bello said.
“All those affected should be given the necessary help, so let’s relax the requirements,” he said. “But you also have to take care of yourselves. Don’t get sick!”
As of Sunday, the Philippines COVID-19 cases in the Philippines soared to 1,075 with 68 deaths and 35 recoveries.
To contain the spread of the disease, President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Luzon under an enhanced community quarantine.
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For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.
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