600 workers lose jobs due to Covid-19

Over 600 workers lost their jobs in private companies across Bicol amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.

Joel Gonzales, DOLE Bicol regional director said the agency has recorded a total of 612 displaced private workers employed in 51 commercial firms, which were forced to either close or stop operation, implement job lay off, retrench, and retire employees.

Gonzales said the job layoffs in Bicol did not in any way dented the labor market in the region pointing out that the number of displaced workers numbering to 612 recorded as of June 21 is only equivalent to 0.2 percent of the 2.1 million labor force in the region.

DOLE data showed job displacement was notably high in Albay with 387 workers, followed by Catanduanes, 124, Camarines Sur, 57, Camarines Norte, 26, Masbate,12 and Sorsogon with only six.

Of this figure, 371 (60 percent) workers suffered retrenchment, 189 (30 percent) were due to resignation, retirement, project completion and end of contract, while only 52 workers were laid off due to permanent closure of the establishments.

The top five sectors in industries affected by the coronavirus pandemic include: Administrative with 154 workers employed in 15 establishments; Financial with 131 workers in 10 establishments; Accommodation with 107 workers in seven establishments; 108 workers in Wholesale; 108 workers in other establishments; and 4 workers in Human health services.

Gonzales quoting a Philippine Statistical Authority (PSA) study said “The job displacement in Bicol represents only a tiny figure (0.2 percent) and has no impact on the existing labor force in the region but we have to learn something from it and make the necessary interventions.”

Citing data from the agency Bureau of Local Employment Office showed that job displacements from January to June this year recorded 90,215 workers nationwide lost their jobs after 3,189 establishments closed, because of the coronavirus pandemic that hit the country, Gonzales said.

“If we compare Bicol job displacements rate with other regions, we ranked 12 among the 16 regions in terms of establishments affected and the number of job cuts. This is only minuscule 0.58 percent from the 90,125 workers that were laid off nationwide.”

He said the most affected regions are the National Capital Region (NCR) followed by Regions IV, (CALABARZON), VII and X.

To caution the impact of Covid-19 on the labor force market, DOLE in Bicol has spent P411 million worth of financial assistance to some 84,400 beneficiaries under the TUPAD-BKBK, CAMP and AKAP programs.