'No work, no pay' sector assured of state support during COVID-19 quarantine

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 17 2020 10:27 AM | Updated as of Mar 17 2020 12:23 PM

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MANILA - The government is working to address the needs of those who will lose their livelihood during the 1-month long quarantine against COVID-19, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said Tuesday.

The needs of informal workers, street sellers and daily wage earners who fall under the "no work, no pay" scheme will be addressed, Lopez told ANC. 

Under the "enhanced community quarantine" that will last until mid-April, only essential services such as banks, supermarkets and pharmacies will remain open. Work for non-essential industries as well as public transportation was suspended. 

"We will have to focus on the marginalized sector na nangangailangan din ng tulong (who also need access) to the social services, we really have to address lalo na 'yung mga mawawalan, 'yung mga no work, no pay," Lopez said. 

"Nakafocus tayo sa mga kababayan na walang opportunity ngayong lockdown period," he added.

(We are focused on our fellowmen who have no opportunity now that we are on lockdown period)

Releasing one-month pay of at least the minimum wage is currently part of the "prepositioning" being discussed, he said. 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in coordination with the local government units down to the Barangay level, will be responsible for food distribution, Lopez said.

President Rodrigo Duterte assured the public Monday that no one would go hungry during the 30-day enhanced community quarantine period. 

"We are making arrangements na ang mga produkto na ito will be brought to their barangay, magkakaroon ng stations where these food items can be distributed," Lopez said. 

(We are making arrangements that the essential food products will be brought to their community. There will be stations where these food items can be distributed)

Local government units, in the absence of public transport, can arrange for shuttle buses to ferry front line service workers while companies are encouraged to provide housing for supermarket staff, Lopez said.

The trade department's consumer protection group will continue to go after profiteering and hoarding during the enhanced community quarantine period, Lopez said.