Over 15,000 workers displaced in Davao due to Covid-19 pandemic

File photo
File photo

MORE than 15,000 employees lost their job in 2020 brought about by the economic losses attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-Davao Region.

DOLE-Davao Director Ofelia Domingo said in a virtual presser on Monday, December 21, that most of the establishments had either resulted in the reduction or retrenchment of workers, or permanently closed their establishments brought about by the quarantine restrictions imposed to mitigate the spread of the Covid-19.

"Itong mga displaced workers, ito sila ang mga nawalan ng trabaho dahil sa (Our displaced workers are those who lost their jobs because of our current) Covid-19 situation," Domingo said.

Based on their job displacement monitoring data as of December 20, 2020, a total of 15,285 workers coming from 879 establishments in the region were displaced this year.

A total of 13,464 workers coming from 818 establishments were affected after they were retrenched, while 1,821 workers coming from 79 establishments were displaced after their workplace went into permanent closure.

Domingo said majority of the companies had to let go of employees due to redundancy, financial losses, or even both.

DOLE-Davao also reported that the administrative and support service activities, wholesale and retail trade or repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, and accommodation and food service sector are the industries in the region with the most displaced workers.

However, Domingo revealed that displaced workers will continue to receive financial assistance from the agency.

She said the Covid-19 Adjustment Measures Program (Camp), Tulong Panghanapbuhay Sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers Program (Tupad), and Abot Kamay ang Pagtulong (Akap) would still be allocated following the passage of the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2.

Camp is a cash assistance for employees from the formal sectors or workers hired by private companies or establishments regardless of their employment status (permanent, probationary, or contractual). Employees who are displaced within ECQ can also be included in the list of beneficiaries. Each employee will receive P5,000.

However, DOLE specified that if the workers are still given salaries by their employers even if they are not able to work during the ECQ, employees may not be considered a priority or may not be entitled to the Camp.

Tupad, meanwhile, is a community-based package of assistance that provides emergency employment for displaced workers, underemployed and seasonal workers, for a minimum period of 10 days, but not to exceed a maximum of 30 days, depending on the nature of work to be performed.

As for Akap, those eligible for the program are those affected overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who were displaced onsite or repatriated to the Philippines due to Covid-19 or Balik-Manggagawa/ Re-engaged seafarers whose contracts have been suspended due to Covid-19; and must not receive financial assistance from the first batch of the Akap program from the Bayanihan 1.

As of December 18, the Dole-Davao was able to disburse a total of P268.59 million to 53,718 workers under the Camp-Regular, while a separate Camp disbursement was given to 2,688 workers under the tourism sector for a total of P14.41 million. Affected teachers and other educational workers in the private sector were also enrolled in the Camp-Education, wherein 168 have availed with a total disbursed amount of P843,150.

A total of 25,151 workers also availed of the Tupad program with a total disbursed amount of P157.392,553, and 661 workers for the Akap with a total disbursed amount of P6.61 million.

Meanwhile, Domingo said their office continues to receive complaints from displaced workers from their employers, especially those who still have not received their last pay.

For this month, she said they received various complaints regarding the matter.

"Marami pong nagre-request sa amin ng assistance tungkol sa kanilang sweldo, at sa kanilang trabaho (We continue to receive requests seeking for our assistance with regards to their salary and their job)," she said.

For establishments that formally declared to their office that they will be permanently closing, Domingo said their office immediately sends their quick response team to the company to orient them on the benefits they can avail from Dole and also facilitate their separation pay.

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