Costly but necessary: Here’s how many workers from NCR lost jobs during ‘travel bubble’, ECQ

Published April 12, 2021, 5:21 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Over 15,000 people from the National Capital Region (NCR) or Metro Manila lost their jobs during the stretch of heightened restrictions in the area from March 22 to April 11, 2021 as a result of the surge in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases.

(Photo by Ellson Quismorio / File photo)

According to the job displacement monitoring report sent by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Dir. Rolly Francia to reporters Monday afternoon, April 12, a total of 15,246 workers in NCR became jobless during that period.

The displaced workers came from 847 Metro Manila establishments, 69 of which closed down permanently. The other 778 establishments chose to retrench or reduce its workforce.

The same report showed that on a nationwide scale, 26,114 workers from 1,567 establishments ended up being displaced during the three-week period. Eleven percent or 169 of those establishments shut its doors permanently.

The NCR tally of displaced workers easily accounted for the biggest chunk of layoffs for any region in the country during the given period.

DOLE said the details of the report was “sourced from notices of shutdown retrenchment submitted by employers through the DOLE online Establishment Report System (ERS).”

On March 22, authorities announced that the NCR and the nearby provinces of Bulacan, Laguna, and Rizal (collectively known as NCR-plus) would form a “travel bubble” wherein non-essential travel to and from the bubble would be prohibited for two weeks. The move was done to curb the alarming rise of new COVID-19 infections.

But the government’s pandemic taskforce opted for bolder, more stringent measures the following week when it imposed an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the bubble area. This stifled commerce a great deal at a time when the local business sector was slowly but surely recovering.

NCR-plus was placed under modified ECQ on Monday, April 12.