The 2,300 that would be affected by the massive retrenchment by Philippine Airlines (PAL) would add to the unemployment rate of the Philippines.
The decision was difficult and painful, according to PAL President Gilbert Santa Maria, but the company assured that it would support the retrenchment.
According to PAL, they did everything to overcome the crisis but because there are still few people traveling and travel restrictions are left and right, their operation is only 30 percent.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III admitted that PAL has been complaining for a long time but also asked the company to reduce the number of employees who will lose their jobs.
“In fairness, talagang they tried their best… Baka makikiusap kami na baka mabawasan naman ‘yong number of employees to be retrenched,” said Bello.
According to Bello, some companies have also announced the dismissal of workers, temporary closure, or total closure.
The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) thinks this is the second wave of unemployment in the country caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many more will close if the only solution to the problem is a lockdown and policies still clash.
Unemployment now in ‘2nd wave’ – employers’ group
“‘Yong second wave ng unemployment ang grabe. Nakikita ko ‘yong mga listahan na di ko alam kung opisyal or what, ‘yong mga ibinebentang kompanya, ‘yong mga kompanyang nagbabalak magsara, nakakatakot,” said ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis.
Bello, on the other hand, supported the recommendation to ease the quarantine category, especially in Metro Manila.
According to the National Economic and Development Authority, P700 million is lost to workers per day in areas that remain in the general community quarantine.
This is down by 12 points from the 39.5% in September 2020.
The estimated numbers of jobless adults are 12.7 million in November 2020 and 23.7 million in September 2020.
Joblessness was 17.5% in December 2019, the last measurement before the Covid-19 crisis began.
The November 2020 Survey found the adult Labor Force Participation Rate at 66.7%, or an estimated 46.3 million adults. It was 86.5%, or an estimated 60.1 million adults, in September 2020.