The coronavirus pandemic had displaced some 1.5 million workers in the formal sector, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).
Majority of the affected workers were in the manufacturing, hotel, restaurant and tourism-related sectors.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd said on Tuesday that as of April 13, a total of 1,428,841 workers have been displaced as reported by 52,993 establishments.
“More than 1 million of those were due to temporary closures while the balance were affected by various flexible work arrangements,” Bello said.
The Labor department provided no breakdown on the locations of the displaced workers. The latest number is 280,192 higher than the figures recorded on April 11 — 1,048,649.
Based on the April 11 data, the highest displacement was recorded in Metro Manila with about 246,810 workers; followed by Central Luzon with 179,875; Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) with 99,178; Davao Region with 90,414; Cagayan Valley with 75,189; Central Visayas with 51,150; Cordillera Administrative Region with 46,614; Northern Minadanao with 46,351; and the Bicol Region with 41,322.
Western Visayas recorded 36,526 displaced workers while Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) recorded 30,721 workers.
The areas with the least affected workers were Caraga Region with 26,981; Eastern Visayas with 24,940; Zamboanga Peninsula with 24,664; Ilocos Region with 17,378; and Soccsksargen with 11,536. Soccsksargen comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Cotabato and Sarangani, and the cities of General Santos and Cotabato.
The figures were based on reports submitted to the Labor department’s field and regional offices by business establishments.
Bello reiterated his call to enterprises and companies to submit to his department the names of their workers and employees, regardless of employment status, so that they can be provided assistance under the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP).
“We are thankful to those who responded positively to our request that the P5,000 one-time assistance under CAMP has already benefited about 220,000 workers with close to P1.1 billion in assistance funds,” the Labor chief said.
He said the number is on top of the close to quarter of a million workers in the informal sector who also need assistance under the DoLE’s Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers Program-Barangay Ko, Bahay ko or the Tupad #BKBK program.
Bello denied the allegations of some groups that the Labor department was underreporting or downplaying the actual number of workers affected by the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.
“We have been forthright and transparent. It is our desire to reach the most number of workers with the assistance we can provide. There is no reason for us in government, much less in the Labor department, to play with numbers — underreport or otherwise downplay them,” he stressed.