DOLE: Safely reopening businesses only way to sustain employment recovery
MANILA, Philippines — The safe reopening of businesses is the only way to sustain employment and economic recovery efforts, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Tuesday, after unemployment rate rose in April following the implementation of strict quarantine.
Bello said, “the DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) is one with the economic managers in safely reopening businesses so mobility of workers is also facilitated in a less restrictive community quarantine levels.”
“This is the only way to sustain our employment recovery and economic recovery efforts,” he said in a statement.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the number of unemployed individuals in the country rose to 4.14 million in April, higher than the 3.44 million recorded in March.
The PSA said unemployment in April corresponds to an 8.7 percent unemployment rate, higher than the 7.1 percent reported in March.
Bello, however, said the DOLE “had anticipated that the improvement in employment reported in March 2021 will not be sustained” due to the reimposition of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and modified ECQ.
“This had significantly affected the April 2021 LFS result as businesses and mobility of workers were again restricted to contain the spread of the virus,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Bello also said that the condition of the labor market may be improved by the timely rollout of vaccines for workers. He called on all Filipino workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“We also reiterate our call upon all workers and businesses to continue the strict implementation of the minimum public health standards (MPHS), and occupational safety and health policies. We need to instill discipline in adhering to basic MPHS – proper wearing of face mask and face shield, washing of hands, and social distancing,” said Bello.
“Rest assured that the Department of Labor and Employment will continue to work with various government agencies and support initiatives such as the Task Group on Economic Recovery and the National Employment Recovery Strategy Task Force towards a safe re-opening of the economy and sustained improvement in our labor market,” he added.
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