ECQ to affect unemployment rate in NCR Plus – DOLE
MANILA, Philippines — As the NCR Plus area (Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal) prepare for the enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said the lockdown will “surely affect” the country’s unemployment rate.
The unemployment rate is reflected in the Labor Force Survey released by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
“The imposition of [ECQ] in NCR this August will surely affect successive survey rounds,” said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.
Based on the results of the June 2021 Labor Force Survey released earlier, the PSA said: “The country’s unemployment rate in June 2021 remained the same as the 7.7 percent reported a month ago.”
Bello, however, said DOLE remains motivated in further improving its responses in addressing the problems of the country’s labor market as they try to mitigate the lockdown’s impact on the economy.
According to Bello, targeted assistance to workers is already being finalized by a Small Working Group on Social Amelioration (SWG-SAP). The proposed wage subsidy which is being pushed by the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) Task Force is just waiting for the approval of the country’s economic managers, said Bello.
“The DOLE shall [also] request for P2 billion budget augmentation for the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) for formal sector workers who will be affected by the ECQ. These will be implemented once approved,” said Bello.
“These are on top of the regular programs of the government, particularly the NERS Task Force, on supporting businesses through available incentives, providing [a] platform for jobseekers to facilitate their access to employment, and supporting our workers through upskilling and retooling initiatives,” he added.
Bello said DOLE’s partnership with the private sector to create 1 million jobs for 2021 is also gaining traction which will be a welcome contribution in the effort to recover lost employment.
“We reiterate our call to all workers and businesses to continue the strict implementation of the minimum public health standards (MPHS) and occupational safety and health policies. Let us continue to be vigilant and avoid complacency by adhering to basic MPHS – proper wearing of face mask and face shield, washing of hands, and social distancing,” Bello said.
“The Department of Labor and Employment is working vigorously with the NERS Task Force and will continue to be active in working with various government agencies and support initiatives such as the Task Group on Economic Recovery (TGER) towards sustained improvement in our labor market,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier approved the proposal of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and mayors to place Metro Manila under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from August 6 to 20 due to the rising cases of the more transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant.
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