1 million workers displaced amid MECQ in NCR Plus: DTI

Trade Undersecretary Ruth Castelo said Thursday that at least one million workers remain “displaced” in NCR Plus areas due to the imposition of modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

Castelo said during the Laging Handa briefing that the figure was down from the 1.5 million displaced employees recorded when NCR Plus (Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, and Laguna) was under strictest enhanced community quarantine.

“1.5 million employees in NCR Plus were displaced during ECQ but 500,000 of them were able to return to their jobs under MECQ,” Castelo said.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday extended modified enhanced general quarantine in Metro and nearby Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal provinces, Malacañang said until  May 14.

Duterte added that the following areas would be under general community quarantine.

1 million workers displaced amid MECQ in NCR Plus: DTI

Duterte added the rest of the country is under the loosest modified GCQ.

The Department of Trade and Industry has appealed to the government’s COVID-19 task force to allow personal care services and under MECQ to reduce the unemployment in NCR Plus.

Castelo said that in personal care services alone, there are already 400,000 displaced workers, while 100,000 workers of restaurants with also lost their jobs under MECQ.

“Iyong personal care services po, barbershops and salons lang po ito. Hindi kasama ang spa and massage [services]. Kaya nga po iyon ang rekomendasyon ng DTI [na magbukas ng ibang industriya] para unti-unti, dahan-dahan na pong makabalik sa trabaho iyong one million who were displaced,” Castelo said.

(These personal care services only include barbershops and salons. It does not include spas ang massage services. The DTI is recommending that they’d be allowed to resume operations so that the one million displaced workers can return to their jobs.)

DTI is proposing to allow at 10% capacity, and for personal care services to be allowed to as much as 50% provided that the location is outdoor, Castelo said.

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