The Philippines’ Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) informed that more than 111,000 workers employed by at least 2,300 business enterprises, have been affected by the outbreak of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The agency said 30,796 workers were displaced after 600 establishments suspended their operations after the government declared a lockdown in the entire island of Luzon to prevent the spread of the virus.
An estimated 41,300 workers employed in 889 establishments were also forced to follow flexible work arrangements (FWA), such as reduced workdays, rotation of workers or forced leaves.
Dole said most of these workers were in the manufacturing, hotel, restaurant and tourism-related sectors.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III earlier called on companies to implement FWA rather than close shop or retrench their workers.
Majority of the affected workers are in Luzon, where enhanced community quarantine has been imposed since last week.
The National Capital Region topped the list with 46,213 affected workers, followed by Central Luzon (21,964) and Calabarzon (19,486).
There were also a lot of displaced workers in top tourist drawers in Western Visayas (12,470) and in Central Visayas (4,610).
Dole also said a total of 3,169 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) were affected by COVID-19. More than a thousand of them have already been repatriated, while a little over 1,500 are still displaced and 521 are deemed stranded.
Most of these OFWs are in Macau (1,560), Qatar (208) and Japan (135). In Italy, which has the highest number of COVID-19 deaths worldwide, 143 OFWs are affected.
Bello said they had allotted P1.3 billion to support around 250,000 affected workers in the private sector under the COVID-19 adjustment measures program (AMP).
Under the AMP, each affected private sector worker will receive P5,000 in “lump sum, non-conditional and regardless of [their]employment status.”
To qualify, a worker should be an employee of a private company that has implemented flexible work arrangements or has temporarily closed due to COVID-19. (Source: INQUIRER.net)