Labor group warns of job losses as lockdown hits small businesses


Posted at Apr 21 2020 05:25 PM | Updated as of Apr 21 2020 06:31 PM

Labor group warns of job losses as lockdown hits small businesses 1
Police officers in protective gear check the identification and temperature of motorists crossing from Cainta to Pasig City on April 15, 2020. Fernando G. Sepe Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Some 4 million workers risk losing their jobs after the lockdown over Luzon is lifted because their small business employers may shut down or reduce their workforce, a labor group said on Tuesday. 

The Associated Labor Unions-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines talked to many small and micro enterprises who said it would be difficult for them to go back to business because of huge losses, said its spokesman Alan Tanjusay.

"Wala silang kinita at wala silang income sa loob ng mahigit isang buwan kung kaya't mapipilitan silang magsara o kaya ay significantly magbawas ng operation o magbawas ng manggagawa,” Tanjusay added.

(They had no earnings or income in more than a month, which will force them to shut down or significantly reduce their operations or retrench workers.)


The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) also warned that many small businesses would need government aid to survive. 

“Marami talagang mawawalan ng trabaho pagkatapos nito, unless massive ang tulong sa SME (small and medium enterprises). Yung micro (enterpresies), mas malamang diyan eh magbabawas talaga o hindi makakaoperate," ECOP president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said 

(Many will lose their jobs after this unless SMEs get massive aid. Microenterprises will likely reduce their workforce or will be unable to operate.)

Tanjusay said law and order could break down if the millions lose their jobs because the government failed to address the needs of the small businesses. 

Ortiz-Luis said that to avoid this, the government should consider allowing other non-essential businesses such as malls to gradually resume operations. Construction of infrastructure should also resume, he said. 

"Habang walang traffic eh ayusin nila nang ayusin. Testingin nila yung mga workers, bigyan nila ng service,” Luis said.

(They should take advantage of the lack of traffic to fix things. They should test the workers [for COVID-19] and provide them with [transport] service.)

- Report from April Rafales, ABS-CBN News