Almost 5 million Filipino workers retrenched due to Covid-19 pandemic — Bello

By: Cathrine Gonzales - | February 04,2021 - 09:39 AM
workers retrenched

Workers rush to finish PPE suits at the Reliance Producers Cooperatives in Carmona Cavite, a local company that manufactures high end clothes and is now repurposing some of their manufacturing capacity in producing PPEs so that the country would not heavily depend on imports. The Dpet. of Trade and Industry recently reported that local manufacturers are producing more tha 50 million face masks and PPEs a month.

MANILA, Philippines — Less than five million Filipinos have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic as of December last year, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Thursday, February 4, 2021.

“Ang record namin as of December, umaabot lamang po ng mga around a little less than five million,” Bello said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.

(Our record as of December shows a little less than 5 million.)

“Konti talaga, kasi ano merong marami about three million natanggal pero temporary, and under the law after six months they have to be rehired.”

(It is really small number.  There are many, about three million who were terminated, but only temporarily, and under the law, they have to be rehired after six months)

Labor and Employment Sec. Silvestre Bello III. Senate PRIB file photo / Henzberg Austria

On Monday, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) said its latest survey showed that adult joblessness in the country eased to 27.3 percent in November 2020 as the economy started to gradually open up despite the pandemic.

Bello said this figure is somehow correct but somehow inaccurate as well.

“In a way medyo tama pero in a way hindi rin tama, hindi rin accurate. Because from our own survey, sinama nila ‘yung tinatawag nating temporarily terminated. Meaning that after six months they will have to be hired, and they also included ‘yung employees that were affected because of flexible working arrangements,” he said of the survey results.

(In a way it is correct but in a way it is also not accurate. They included what we call temporarily terminated, meaning that after six months they will have to be hired, and they also included the employees who were affected because of flexible working arrangements.)

“Marami ‘yan, umaabot siguro 4 million ‘yan, yung mga empleyado na hindi naman natanggal sa trabaho pero nabawasan ang kanilang working hours and therefore nabawasan ang kanilang kita. But what is important is their status of employment is maintained,” Bello added.

(That is huge. Maybe there are around 4 million employees who were not retrenched, but their working hours were shortened and therefore salary has decreased. But what is important is that their status of employment is maintained.)

Malacañang earlier announced that Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region, and six other areas will be under general community quarantine for the entire month of February, as the government tries to gradually reopen the country’s economy.


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