MANILA – Some 50 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country filed a temporary closure notice to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) due to Covid-19 pandemic.
This backlash in the economy was disclosed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Friday, May 22, during an interview with a radio station, wherein about 190,000 employees would be directly affected by their action. He said that at first the MSMEs planned to have a flexible work arrangement but later on they decided to temporarily close their operation until the economy could recover and medicine for the virus is available.
Secretary Bello further said that the estimated 190,000 displaced workers in MSMEs are not yet included in the 2.6 million employees who were already identified by DOLE as being temporarily or permanently displaced due to the pandemic.
“Yan ang pinaka-problema, pinaka-nightmare namin ngayon on how to protect employees at all cost, na walang employee na mawalan ng trabaho,” (That’s our main problem and worst nightmare on how to protect employees at all cost, that no employee will lose a job), he said.
However, Sec. Bello vowed to review the notices of the MSMEs and to come up with measures to preserve jobs amid the public health crisis that also destroyed the economy. One possibility is to ask those in the construction companies to hire 10 to 20 percent additional workers from their existing work force for their infrastructure projects which will fully commence soon.
Again he appealed to business owners to scale down their operation and device flexible working arrangement instead of closing down to prevent displacement of workers. Bello estimated that four to five million Filipinos might lose their jobs due to Covid-19 pandemic.