NCR employers asked to encourage workers from provinces to rent in metro

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 13 2020 05:27 PM

MANILA - Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez on Friday advised Metro Manila employers to encourage their workers residing in nearby provinces to find a place to rent in the capital region, which will be under a "community quarantine" beginning Sunday. 

“Sa ganoong paraan din, malilimitahan talaga iyong pasok at labas ng mga tao dito sa Metro Manila (That way, the movement of people in and out of Metro Manila will be limited),” Lopez said.

The trade chief suggested that employers should shoulder the cost of rent for their workers.

“Actually ito naman ho ang mga pwedeng gawin ng kanilang mga employer, na ang kusa nila na mag-upa lang ng mga kwarto dyan. Bedspacing hindi naman ganun kalalaki, but kung gusto nilang matulungan ang mga nagtatrabaho para sa kanila,” he said.

(Actually this is what employers can do, to rent rooms there. Bedspacing is not that spacious, but if they want to help their employers.) 

Lopez clarified these are just suggestions, since not all such orders are needed to come from the government.

“I think yung mga negosyante, malalaki naman yan na pwedeng tulungan ang kanilang mga empleyado, kung maminimize lang yung movement in and out ng mga workers. Pero kung wala naman talaga, then go through the process," he said.

(I think the businessmen, they are rich and can help their employees, to minimize the in and out movement of their workers. But if nothing can be done, then they (employers) can just go through the process.)

Authorities earlier clarified that workers residing outside Metro Manila are exempted from the travel ban in the region, adding that they can still go to work as long as they present company IDs or any proof of employment at designated checkpoints.

However, businessmen and workers in the informal sector who can't produce any proof they are employed in Metro Manila, are discouraged from doing their business in the region during the quarantine period. 

“Kapag sila mismo 'yung negosyante, dun na lang sila sa ibang lugar muna mag-negosyo, 'wag na sa Metro Manila. Ganun na rin sa mga workers na 'yun, kasi ang importante, may ID,” Lopez said.

(If they are businessmen without ID, they cant do business in other places, but not in Metro Manila. That's also for informal workers, because what's important is you have ID.)

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said that the inter-agency task force will determine whether they will allow other exemptions on the travel ban, such as for patients seeking medical attention in Metro Manila.