More than two million workers have lost their jobs since the Philippine government imposed the enhanced community quarantine to stem the spread of COVID-19, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced yesterday.
According to 79,271 businesses in the country, they displaced 2,073,362 workers as of April 24, a statement from the DOLE said.
“Almost 1.4 million workers were displaced due to temporary closures while more than 687,000 had reduced incomes under alternative work arrangements like less workdays, rotation, forced leave and telecommuting,” DOLE said.
Most displaced workers were from the National Capital Region, the epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic, with 687,634 workers. This was followed by Central Luzon where 281,278 workers were displaced and Davao Region with 207,789.
Below are the numbers for other regions:
Calabarzon- 158,646 workers
Northern Mindanao- 106,162
Cagayan Valley- 88,531
Central Visayas- 86,767
Western Visayas- 65,892
Bicol region- 65,757
Cordillera Administrative Region- 63,957
Eastern Visayas- 49,362
Caraga Administrative Region- 39,711
Zamboanga Peninsula- 37,683
Ilocos Region- 32,017
The DOLE added that at least 230,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) have asked the government for financial assistance after losing their jobs overseas, higher than the 150,000 target that the government has imposed. DOLE has set aside PHP1.5 billion (US$29,551) worth of assistance for laid-off OFWs, and it will seek an additional budget to provide for other displaced workers.
The enhanced community quarantine has been extended in Metro Manila and other areas up to May 15. As of yesterday afternoon, the Philippines has 7,579 reported cases, with 501 deaths and 862 recoveries.