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Angara: Data on firms laying off workers neededAngara: Data on firms laying off workers needed

By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara on Sunday urged the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to conduct a survey of all companies that are laying off workers due to the COVID-19.

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Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (Senator Sonny Angara Official Facebook Page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Taking note of the Philippine Airlines’ (PAL) move to lay off 300 of its personnel, Angara warned the government cannot afford to be complacent in addressing the impact of the COVID-19 on the economy.

“We have been spared from deaths caused by COVID-19 but sadly the pandemic has taken away the jobs of 300 hardworking men and women of our country’s flag carrier,” Angara said.

“There is no end in sight yet and more countries are implementing drastic measures to keep their citizens safe, including our own,” he added.

The Senate finance committee chief said it is imperative that the government has mechanisms in place to shield the economic sector from the negative effects of the new coronavirus.

“Our authorities should prepare for the worst and insulate, not only our people from the virus, but also our industries from being downed by COVID-19,” he added.

As a first step, he said the labor department should already be conducting a survey of all companies that are laying off its workers due to a slowdown of economic activity, be it COVID-19-related or other factors.

He pointed out not all companies are the size of PAL, which could afford to provide separation packages to its affected employees.

Angara noted there are smaller players, particularly those in the tourism sector such as the tour guides, bed and breakfast operators and vehicle rentals who need the foreign visitors to put food on their tables.

But for local constituents who lost their jobs due because their company went bankrupt, he said DOLE offers financial assistance which they can use during their transition period.
Under the 2020 General Appropriations Act, the DOLE has P112.62-million for its Adjustment Measures Program and P6.8-billion for its Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers or TUPAD.

“Now more than ever our entire government should work together in making our domestic industries stronger, more competitive, productive and resilient,” he said.

“This way they will be less prone to external shocks and continue to provide jobs to our people, uplift their communities and bring the Philippines closer to being an industrialized nation,” Angara added.

Source: Manila Bulletin

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