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3.2 Million Filipinos Expected to Face Unemployment

  • DOLE said last Thursday that 78% or 79,550 of the 102,000 establishments affected by the COVID-19 pandemic declared that they would be temporarily closed for six months.
  • 3.2 million workers, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), are expected to lose their jobs because of the economic slowdown.
  • Businesses that are under TWC are given six months to resume their operations or they would be considered permanently closed.
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The Department of Labor and Employment said last Thursday that 78% or 79,550 of the 102,000 businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic declared that they would be temporarily closed for six months. This will result in millions of Filipinos losing their jobs in the coming weeks.

According to Dominique Tutay, Labor Assistant Secretary, 3.2 million workers, including overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), are expected to lose their jobs because of the economic slowdown. Tutay also noted that 1.9 million employees who will find themselves unemployed will be coming from the formal sector.

“What we fear is slowly becoming a reality. Those establishments that reported to us their flexible work arrangement or temporary closure have already sent feelers that they might close permanently because of the huge effect of COVID-19 in their operations,” Tutay said in a radio interview.

“There are some [establishments] who have sent letters informing us that they will retrench their employees in the coming days or months,” she added.

There are 2.9 million formal sector workers from 102,000 businesses nationwide that are currently under flexible work arrangement or on temporary work closure (TWC) according to DOLE records. Of the 102,000 establishments, 78% or 79,560 are temporarily closed. The remaining 22% or 22,440 companies are under flexible work arrangement, which means the employees can still work but their income is reduced.

Businesses that are under TWC are given six months to resume their operations or they would be considered permanently closed.

“That is what we don’t like to happen, that firms on temporary work closure will become permanent closure. We are talking about 1.9 million [formal sector] workers here,” Tutay said.

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