1.5 million Filipinos lost jobs during 2-week ECQ, DTI claims

MANILA, Philippines – The imposition of the two-week Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in National Capital Region (NCR), Cavite, Bulacan, Laguna and Rizal amid a new surge in COVID-19 cases left about 1.5 million Filipinos jobless, according to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
closed business ECQ

Under the ECQ imposed last March 29 to April 11, only select industries were allowed to operate in full capacity forcing millions of workers to be displaced. The two-week lockdown, which was initially scheduled to last until April 4, only allowed essential sectors such as food, food manufacturing and personal care manufacturing to operate at full capacity while non-essential manufacturing were only allowed at 50 percent capacity.

Lopez said: “Base sa talaan naman ng mga labor force, iyong mga sectors na sarado noong ECQ, mga 1.5 million estimate kami na na-displace, nawalan ng hanapbuhay.”

DTI secretary Ramon Lopez estimated that about 1 million employees are still unable to return to work despite the placing of NCR Plus bubble under the less restrictive Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ). According to Lopez, 500,000 workers were able to return to work after the shift to MECQ.

“Therefore, meron pa tayong mga 1 million na inaasahan nating makakabalik [ng trabaho], hopefully ‘pag nag-GCQ tayo,” the Trade Secretary explained.

P180 billion economic loss during ECQ

Furthermore, Lopez also revealed that the country’s economic losses due to the implementation of ECQ has reached P180 billion.

“In terms of economic loss, the estimate for the two weeks is around one percent of our GDP (gross domestic product). If our GDP is P18 trillion… the one percent is P180 billion and this is the estimated loss of the economy,” Lopez said.

Based on a survey by DTI, only 4.6 percent of micro, small and medium enterprises were not operating prior to the implementation of ECQ.

If there will be improvements in terms of the decrease in the number of new coronavirus cases, the DTI would push for the shift to Generalized Community Quarantine (GCQ).

— Mini, The Summit Express

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