Employers say limited mass transportation, traffic also factors in joblessness

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 04 2020 01:41 PM

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MANILA - The Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) said several factors remain a challenge for members of the business sector trying to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“May mga sektor na ok pero may mga sektor na talagang walang magawa. Halimbawa yung mga sa restaurant, sa mga hotels, dapat sana malaki-laki na ang pumapasok pero haggang ngayon maliit pa rin at marami pa rin problema,” said ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.

(There are sectors which are OK but there are those which cannot do anything. Example, the restaurants, hotels which until now are encountering problems)

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) on Thursday said 3.8 million adult Filipinos were jobless as of October. This represents an unemployment rate of 8.7 percent.

The National Capital Region (NCR) had the highest unemployment rate, while the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) had the lowest.

October's 8.7 percent unemployment rate was nearly double the 4.6 percent in the same period last year but below the record 17.6 percent in April. 

“Dapat sana mabilis-bilis pa, marami pa ring problema kaya ‘di natin ma employ yung mga taong dapat ma employ,” said ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr.

(There are still a lot of problems.. we cannot employ those who should be employed)

In an interview on TeleRadyo, he said limited mass transportation and the traffic are a problem for many workers.

“Mass transportation hanggang ngayon hindi pa rin nakakapasok yung iba at ayaw pa ring magpapasok ng ibang kumpanya dahil talagang hirap pumasok ang mga tao walang mass transportation,” he said.

(Mass transportation remains a problem, workers cannot go to work because there are no available mass transport)

He added that the worsening traffic in Metro Manila is also a factor.

“Lahat ng tao, ng kotse lumalabas para makapasok dahil hindi lahat makakagamit ng mass transportation,” he said.

(People go out, bring their cars to go to work. Not everyone can use mass transportation)

Motorists have complained of heavy traffic after the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) closed some U-turn slots along EDSA to give way to the EDSA Busway project.

“Balancing ng gobyerno ay sa transportasyon kung ano-ano ginagawa isinasabay pa rito sa pandemya. Unang-una, noong May pa lang sinasabi na ng business sector bakit ‘di buksan lahat nung dating mga sasakyan at palabasin lahat? Pwera na lang yung ‘di makakasunod sa protocols, yung mga hindi road worthy at mga kolorum tanggalin yun,” he said.

(The business sector has been saying since May to allow all vehicles to ply the roads, remove "colorum" and vehicles no longer road worthy. This can help with the mobility of people) 

The Beep card and the implementation of RFID stickers have also contributed to traffic, he said.

Meanwhile, he said many of their members gave their workers’ advance 13th month pay.

“Ako, halos nakakasigurado na marami sa miyembro namin at least 14th month ibibigay pa. Ang problema nga natin yung maliliit at yung ‘di pa nagbubukas,” he said.

(Many of our members at least they can give up to 14th month. The problem are for the small businesses which have not reopened)