DOLE to assist displaced workers of Makati Shangri-La, Nissan PH

The Department of Labor and Employment said Friday displaced workers from and could avail of financial assistance from the government after the two companies stopped their operations due to the pandemic.

According to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, workers who lost their jobs could get a one-time cash aid of P5,000 under ’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) from DOLE.

He added the program has a P3-billion budget, specifically for workers in the tourism sector.

“We still have budget, especially those working in the hotels,” Bello said in Filipino.

The DOLE chief said he had yet to receive notice of termination from Nissan and Shangri-La.

On Wednesday, Makati Shangri-La will be temporarily closed starting February 1.

“Throughout the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, our priority has been to preserve as many jobs as possible for our teams,” said the company spokesperson.

Over the past 10 months, Shangri-La Group has been trying to find ways to reduce operating losses such as cost reduction “including salary reductions and management level, implementing shorter work weeks, hiring freeze and cuts in non-essential spending.”

DOLE to assist displaced workers of Makati Shangri-La, Nissan PH

They allegedly did this while providing support to their rank and file employees to overcome the crisis.

However, “the prolonged recovery timeline has resulted in increasing financial pressure on the company here in the Philippines,” the statement said.

“We, unfortunately, must now make the extremely difficult decision to reorganise our workforce and operations in the Philippines as we continue to navigate an uncertain business environment,” the company added.

On Thursday, Japanese automaker Nissan announced it would stop its Philippine car assembly operations in Sta. Rosa, Laguna beginning March 2021.

The shutdown would affect the Almera model, and 133 workers will lose jobs, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez had said.

“The announcement of Nissan to close their assembly operations in the country is regrettable, as these developments all the more demonstrate the critical situation of the local motor vehicle industry,” Lopez said.

Vehicle sales decreased more than 40 percent in 2020 as lockdowns confined people to their homes and the economy sank.