1 million still jobless after lifting of ECQ in NCR and 4 provinces

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At least 1 million individuals have not yet returned to their jobs after the lifting of the two-week enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) over the National Capital Region and four nearby provinces last April 12, 2021.

Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said 1.5 million people lost their jobs during the two-week ECQ and 500,000 were able to get back to work when the modified ECQ (MECQ) was imposed in the NCR and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal starting this week.

“Based on the tally of the labor force, the sectors that closed during the ECQ, we estimate 1.5 million displaced workers. Now at MECQ, based on the data, 500,000 out of the 1.5 million were already able to go back to work,” said Lopez during the Laging Handa Public Briefing on Thursday.

He said most restaurant owners chose to remain closed until the end of the month, resulting in a big number of workers getting sidelined.

“According to the group of restaurant [owners], there are only a few of them who have Al Fresco dine in. The estimate is only 10 percent have Al Fresco, most of them are located inside buildings so they said they will remain closed until the end of April because indoor dining is still prohibited,” he said.

“That really is a big contribution to the [unemployment] because the restaurant industry has a total of 2 million workers so if more than 50 percent closed, that’s more than 1 million already who lost jobs,” he added.

Lopez added that also contributing to the unemployment numbers is the closure of personal care services like barbershops, salons, and health and wellness centers.

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