Labor chief 'hopeful' on jobs recovery as economy gradually reopens


Posted at Jun 05 2020 04:37 PM | Updated as of Jun 06 2020 04:02 AM

People traverse the sidewalks in Makati City on June 2, 2020 during the general community quarantine. Some workers in industries allowed under GCQ return to work amid the lack of mass transportation. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA - Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Friday the jobs market would recover as the economy gradually reopens after one of the world's longest coronavirus lockdowns. 

Unemployment ballooned 17.7 percent in April during the lockdown which translates to 7.3 million jobless Filipinos, government data released Friday showed.

"As the economy opens gradually, we are hopeful that the labor market will also recover. The Department is committed to preserve and protect employment as we await the approval and implementation of the whole-of-government Recovery Plan in the remainder of the Duterte Administration," Bello said in a statement. 

The DOLE will continue to deploy jobs services on different platforms including its public Employment Service Offices (PESOs), he said.

Bello also thanked the private sector for accommodating workers who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

"We encourage more companies to help connect Filipino jobseekers with the much-needed decent jobs for the country and its economy to recover," he said.

Luzon, home to roughly half of the country's 100 million population was placed under lockdown on March 17, where public transport, businesses and schools were suspended. 

Metro Manila and other urban areas transitioned to general community quarantine on June 1, after almost 80 days.

Several businesses have laid off workers to keep businesses afloat during the pandemic.