DEPARTMENT of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, said the government is banking on the business process outsourcing (BPO) and construction sectors to generate employment opportunities amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis.
“Umaasa kami rito sa BPO. Maaaring tutulong ‘yan sa pag bounce back natin, dahil alam naman natin na marami sa ating mga kababayan ang walang trabaho lalong-lalo na sa construction, restaurant, hotel. Kaya umaasa tayo ngayon dito sa BPO industry natin,” Bello said in a televised public briefing.
“Lately nga mayroong tumawag sa amin na nangangailangan na ng 6,000 call center agents,” he added.
He said the construction sector is also seen to generate employment after the government allowed all public and private construction projects to resume in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).
According to Bello, most of the jobs will come from the construction projects under President Rodrigo Duterte’s “Buiild Build Build” program.
“Also, dito naman sa construction. Malaki ang pag-asa natin diyan dahil ngayong full implementation ang public works at saka transportation, doon sa ‘Build Build Build’ infrastructure program of our President,” Bello said.
“Lahat in full implementation so it would generate a lot of construction work and a lot of construction workers will be back to their employment status,” Bello said.
A budget of over P1 trillion budget was allotted to the “Build Build Build” projects this year, although Malacañang said it was willing to drop infrastructure projects to free up funds for the Covid-19 response.
During the Senate committee of the whole hearing on May 21, the DOLE chief estimated that 10 million workers may lose their jobs this year because of the lockdowns aimed at containing Covid-19.
He said majority of the job losses will come from the tourism, service, and transportation sectors.
As of June 22, DOLE reported that more than 2.824 million workers have lost their jobs as 104,163 establishments have either shut down or adopted flexible work arrangements.
Read: Over 2.8M workers displaced by lockdowns
Bello had urged employers to avoid permanent closure of their establishments. Instead, he said they should adopt alternative work schemes, such as reduction of normal workdays or workhours, or resort to job rotations. (SunStar Philippines)