AROUND 20,000 workers and employees in Central Visayas have been affected by retrenchments and permanent business closures alone, caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the July 2020 data of the Department of Labor and Employment Central Visayas (Dole 7) showed.
Though its data for the months of August and September are still being consolidated, Luchel Taniza, Dole 7 information officer, said that as of July, 18,738 workers have been affected by retrenchments made by 510 companies, while another 893 workers have lost their jobs following the permanent closure of 55 business entities.
However, she said, even with this data, it is not clear yet how many employees in the region will actually be affected by the possible deferment of the 13th month pay.
On Oct. 8, 2020, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, announced that instead of foregoing the mandated 13th month pay this year due to the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, employers of “distressed” companies should just defer its release.
Taniza said further discussions on the national level still have to be made by Bello with the labor and management sectors to discuss it in detail.
She said a labor advisory will be issued “very soon” that will clearly define what a “distressed” establishment is including the documents that these establishments should submit as proof, if any.
Moreover, Taniza said they have yet to get final data on how many establishments have resumed operations as their lead division is still updating its database, now that the submission of establishment reports is done through online and is managed by their central office.
In June, the department urged companies that recently resumed operations to submit a “Return to Work Establishment” report and RKS Form 5 of 2020 if they were able to fully operate following the lifting of quarantine status in their area. (WBS)