Labor chief disputes government data on 7.3 million jobless Filipinos

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 10 2020 01:20 PM

Labor chief disputes government data on 7.3 million jobless Filipinos 1
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA-- Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III disputed on Wednesday official government data on unemployment, saying it was only a "survey."

Bello said only 2,068 companies have reported closures, rendering 69,000 Filipinos jobless.

"Yun pong 7.3 million ay survey pa lang 'yan, hindi pa po 'yan actual o factual," he said in a virtual press briefing.

(The 7.3 million is only a suvey. That is not actual or factual.)

Official data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that in the 3-month period until April, unemployment surged to a record 17.7 percent, increasing the total number of jobless Filipinos to 7.3 million.

The period included several weeks when Luzon, home to industrial zones and business hubs, was under strict quarantine, shuttering businesses, public transport and schools, among others. 

National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa said it reflected the "effect of the economic shutdown."

"Hindi actual 'yan kasi kung tuus-tuusin at ang mga nagsabi na nagsara sila ay 2,068 companies or employers," Bello said.

(That is not actual [number] because only 2,068 companies reported closure.)