1.4 million workers in PH displaced due to COVID-19 crisis -- DOLE | Inquirer News
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1.4 million workers in PH displaced due to COVID-19 crisis — DOLE

/ 03:24 PM April 14, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Over 1.4 million workers nationwide have been displaced due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis as of April 13, said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

In a statement on Tuesday, Bello III said DOLE has recorded the displacement at 1,428,841 workers, as reported by 52,993 affected establishments as of April 13.

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“More than one million of those were due to temporary closures while the balance was affected by various flexible work arrangements. And this is not counting the number of informal sector workers in their hundreds of thousands who are also needing financial assistance,” he said.

At the same time, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III denied that the department is “underreporting” or “downplaying” figures on the actual number of employees affected by the Luzon-wide lockdown.

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He said that DOLE has been “forthright” and “transparent” on the number of affected workers it has so far reported.

“We wish to take strong exception to the claim by some groups that the labor department is underreporting or downplaying the actual number of workers affected by the community quarantine to contain the spread of (COVID-19) in the country,” the labor chief said.

“Our numbers are based on reports submitted to our field and regional offices by establishments, indicating the extent by which the national health emergency affects each one of them,” he added.

Bello also noted that the agency had repeatedly called on enterprises and companies to submit to DOLE’s offices the names of their workers and employees, regardless of employment status so that they can be provided assistance under the agency’s amelioration scheme called the COVID Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).

According to President Rodrigo Duterte’s third weekly report to Congress, DOLE has so far given assistance to 286,000 workers through two of its main programs for those affected and displaced by the pandemic.

Bello further said that DOLE continues to accept establishment reports so that the agency would “have a better picture of the impact of the health emergency on the workplaces.”

“And the numbers keep getting bigger by the day,” he said.

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“It is our desire to reach the most number of workers with the assistance we can provide. There is no reason for us in government, much less in the labor department, to play with numbers — underreport or otherwise downplay them,” he added.

As of Monday, Philippine health authorities have so far confirmed 4,932 COVID-19 cases in the country.

Of the number, 315 have died while 242 have so far recovered.

EDV

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TAGS: cash assistance, coronavirus disease, coronavirus Philippines, COVID-19, Displaced workers, DOLE, Nation, News
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