Workers press for a stimulus package

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star
Workers press for a stimulus package
Commuters waiting for public transportation along Commonwealth Ave. in Quezon City while on General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with heightened and additional restriction due to Delta Covid Variant (August 2, 2021).
Photo / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is seeking P2 billion for the distribution of financial assistance for workers to be affected by the re-implementation of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said DOLE is asking for additional funding for the implementation of the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).

“This will be implemented once approved,” Bello said yesterday.

He admitted that the ECQ in Metro Manila starting Aug. 6 could increase unemployment and underemployment nationwide.

Latest survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed an additional 34,000 increase in unemployment and over 900,000 in underemployment in June.

Bello gave assurance that government agencies are collaborating to mitigate the adverse impact of the ECQ.

Government is finalizing the social amelioration program while the proposed wage subsidy is awaiting approval.

These are on top of the regular programs of the government supporting businesses through available incentives, providing a platform for jobseekers to facilitate their access to employment and supporting our workers through upskilling and retooling initiatives,” he said.

To prevent more job losses due to the two-week lockdown, labor groups urged the government to come out with a stimulus package.

“The traditional labor market is down and the scheduled lockdown further clouds the government’s shaky recovery efforts. It’s time to make employment generation a strategy for survival and recovery,” Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) chair Renato Magtubo said.

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