Labor leaders call for gov’t aid in light of ECQ extension

Published April 24, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Leslie Ann Aquino

A labor leader said the extension of the enhanced community quarantine prolonged the hunger of many Filipinos.


SENTRO logo (Google image)
SENTRO logo (Google image)

“The extended lockdown means prolonged hunger for many,” Joshua Mata of Sentro said in a statement.

He lamented how only a few people benefitted from the government aid weeks since the implementation of the ECQ.

“The government was able to provide aid to only 49 percent of its target beneficiaries! We deserve better treatment!” he said.

“Government has to fast track providing support for the rest, and then top it off to ensure that everyone, except those at the top quintile of the population, receives income guarantee that is equivalent to the prevailing minimum wage or P10,000 whichever is higher,” added Mata.

The Partido Manggagawa, meantime, has called on the government to expand its assistance to the millions of workers affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Because ECQ has been extended, it follows that government aid must not only be extended but also expanded to cover all in millions who are left behind by the COVID-19 Adjustment Measure Program (CAMP),” PM chairman Rene Magtubo said.

On April 16, the Department of Labor and Employment announced that it will no longer accept applications from employers of formal sector workers for CAMP’s one-time financial assistance of P5,000 as the funds for the program are nearing depletion.

Magtubo said the extension should also be utilized in preparing the best protocols for the workers’ safety and protection when they return to work, including enhanced capacity for conducting the most effective method of mass testing and industry compliance to the Occupational Safety and Health law and other labor standards.

On Friday, April 24, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque announced the decision of President Duterte to extend the ECQ in the National Capital Region and other high-risk areas until May 15 to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

Other areas were also placed under general community quarantine (GCQ) starting May 1.