MANILA - Isabela Reyes, a single mother, has been among the countless workers that have been displaced by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
For nearly four months, she's been unable to return to her work as a sales person with a big supermarket chain, after she was laid off in June as part of the company's cost-reduction efforts to weather the pandemic.
Isabela has been hard-pressed to find a job for the future of her son.
"Kailangan po talaga ng panggastos kasi sa ngayon po umaasa lang sa magulang ko. Kahit papano natutulungan po nila ako," she said. "Noong nagkapandemic po, mas lalong humirap, sobrang hirap po. Wala po akong malapitan kasi ultimo mga kaibigan ko walang trabaho."
("I really need a source of income because I am just relying on my parents now who are able to help me. When the pandemic started, our situation really got more difficult. I couldn't even seek help from anyone because even my friends lost their jobs.")
The Employers' Confederation of the Philippines said Tuesday the country should take advantage of low-hanging job opportunities to curb unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic.
At least one million Filipino workers may still be left jobless in the holidays, ECOP said.
"I think even during the Christmas season, there's still a lot of workers that will not be able to work," said ECOP president Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr.
The Business Process Outsourcing could grow more and provide jobs for those displaced, he said, adding that there could also be opportunities in forestry, agriculture and mining.
"We are expecting that the BPOs will boom next year, maraming pupunta rito," Ortiz-Luis said.
"(It) would be things like mining na medyo iniwanan natin, na if we really want to create jobs, we create jobs in that area, 'yung mga forestry natin, agriculture maybe those are the places where you can create jobs," he added.
Ortiz-Luis said they were pushing for the the easing of mass transport restrictions so that more employees could return to work.