MANILA - The Philippine government should not resort to "one-time big-time" financial assistance in helping displaced workers due to the coronavirus pandemic, but rather help them to find other jobs, a labor advocate said Thursday.
This, after the Department of Labor and Employment said it will distribute P5,000 worth of cash aid to workers who lost their jobs and livelihood amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"'Yung mga manggagawang 'yan, 'yung mga nakaraan bago pa ang lockdown, stable naman sila eh. Lahat sila nakakapagtrabaho. Ngayon, ang problema kasi, walang trabaho. Ang kailangan, gawan ng paraan ng gobyerno na magkaroon ng trabaho 'yung mga manggagawang tinanggal," Christian Lloyd Magsoy, spokesperson of the Defend Jobs Philippines group, told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
A survey conducted earlier revealed that almost half of all Filipino adults, or around 27.3 million individuals, are jobless. This accounts for 45.5 percent of the adult labor force, which is a record high.
The SWS poll also found that 21 percent of adult Filipinos lost their job or livelihood during the COVID-19 crisis. Another 21 percent lost their livelihood before the pandemic.
"Ngayon, 'di uubra talaga 'yung panukala ng gobyerno na one-time big-time na P5,000 na ayuda kasi 'yung P15,200 [salary] -- na lowest in 110 countries -- ng mga manggagawa sa Pilipinas ay sobrang kulang, e what more pa kaya 'yung P5,000?" Magsoy said.
"Kaya dapat talaga magkaroon ng paraan 'yung government na mabigyan ng trabaho 'yung mga manggagawang nawalan ng trabaho dulot ng pandemiya."
Millions of Filipinos lost their jobs as the Philippine economy plunged into recession, the first time in nearly 30 years, following one of the longest and strictest lockdowns in the world to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth went down to -16.5 percent.