COVID-19 displaces over 200,000 workers

Published March 25, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Leslie Ann Aquino

More than 200,000 workers have been displaced due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III (ROBINSON NIÑAL JR./Presidential Photo / MANILA BULLETIN)
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

Based on the preliminary reports submitted by DOLE regional offices, 212,718 workers have been displaced here due to the rapidly spreading COVID-19.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the Department is doing its best to address the immediate needs of the displaced workers and those belonging to the most vulnerable sectors during this period of emergency.

He revealed that of the total P1.5 billion available assistance package of DOLE, P35 million was already released to affected workers both those in the formal and informal sectors.

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

“We hope to cover at least 50 percent of those affected by next week,” he added.

Bello said they also crafted an assistance program for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) whose works were also disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are looking at about 70,000 OFWs who will be provided with $200 in cash assistance each,” he said.

Bello, meantime, appealed anew to employers to release the payment of their security agencies.

According to Bello, they received reports that a number of companies have been withholding payments leaving their security guards helpless.

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