More than 2 million workers laid off due to COVID-19 lockdowns, says Labor Department

Workers wait for buses along EDSA in Mandaluyong City. Photo: George Calvelo/ABS-CBN News
Workers wait for buses along EDSA in Mandaluyong City. Photo: George Calvelo/ABS-CBN News

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.

Read: BREAKING: ‘Enhanced community quarantine’ extended in Metro Manila, other high-risk areas

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

Mimaropa- 74,533

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

Soccsksargen- 27,643

Read: Banks asked to give debt relief as part of COVID-19 response, ‘disinfection’ temp jobs offered

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.



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