MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila and some parts of the country will begin the implementation of general community quarantine (GCQ) on Monday (June 1).
Alongside the shift from modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ)to GCQ is the reopening of companies and establishments with a number of employees returning to their workplaces.
Based on records by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) around 2.8 million workers stopped working, some were laid off, due to the impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-1) pandemic on the country’s economy.
Thus, many of those whose income were affected during the quarantine will need to work harder to recover their finances with the reopening of industries and sectors.
“Considering na matagal silang nawalan ng trabaho [Considering the length of time that they have been idle], you can just imagine the rush of workers kasi no-work-no-pay,” Bello noted.
“Now that they can work, for sure they will do everything within their means to report back to office,” he added.
The Secretary also expressed concern about the workers’ dilemma over the limited operation of mass transportation.
Street sweeper Lolita Danieles just returned to work on Tuesday (May 26) after two months of staying at home.
However, she struggles with transportation as she has to pay P70 for a tricycle ride from Payatas to Litex, just halfway to her workplace in Timog Avenue.
“Minsan ang bus pumapara kami hindi kami hinihintuan. Maghintay talaga kami. Tyaga lang, [There are buses passing by but they do not stop. We need to wait patiently,]” she said.
“Kanina nga lang hinintuan kami nung kotse, siningil sa amin tig P50 isa, [Earlier a car owner offered us a ride but charged us P50 each],” she said.
Meanwhile, an employee of a construction company, Crispin Acincieno said he opted for a two-way personal service from his home in Bulacan to his work in Quezon City instead of commuting.
“Definitely hindi muna. Kasi hindi pa naman sigurado. Hindi pa naman 100% safe na mag-public transport [Not yet for now, definitely, because it’s not yet sure if public transportations are 100% safe],” he said.
Secretary Bello reminds employers and employees to always observe health protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
These include the regular wearing of masks, temperature checking, setting up disinfection stations with alcohol and foot baths as well as maintaining proper social distance.
“Ating sinisiguro na ang ating mga worker na nakapasok ay ligtas sa contamination at transmission ng COVID-19 [We want to make sure, that our returning employees and workers are safe from contamination and transmission of COVID-19],” Bello said. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
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