Several jobs in the Philippines are severely affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The number of cases keeps increasing each day, although strict social distancing measures implemented. The government preventive measure had resulted in the partial lockdown of the whole region of Luzon. Even workers are forced to stay home due to restricted movement and travel around the areas.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) made a response to this incident, in a statement by Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III on March 17. DOLE issued a P180-million emergency employment program under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) for the disinfection of barangay communities. The TUPAD project meant to provide emergency employment for around 18,000 workers in the informal sector: the displaced, underemployed, or seasonal employees.
The said project is a great head start for those who want to make a meaningful contribution, which will benefit the community. The current unemployment rate in the Philippines remains at 5.3%. There is a chance that this will go higher as countless workers might lose their jobs with limited business operations.
DOLE will also provide financial assistance through its COVID Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) with an allocated budget of P1.3-billion. This program aims to give financial support to about 250,000 workers in private establishments by granting ₱5,000 for every affected employee. There is a high demand for monetary support, where a lot of employees were detained from work, which can help in securing people who worry about fulfilling their needs for a month, especially those who make a lesser income for a living.
Secretary Bello, in his statement, requested business entities to be mindful of their employees’ financial needs. Employees, in turn, should also have the motive of cooperating with the government and their employers in this time of public emergency. Other countries are undergoing the same crisis as well. We can only hope for the recovery of each one of every worker once the threat is over.