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City gov’t, DOLE urged to help displaced workers

A councilor has requested the city government and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to provide assistance to workers, including those returning home from abroad, who are affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Councilor Pamela Librado-Morata, committee on labor and employment opportunities chair, urged both agencies to help the workers recover from the effects of the COVID-19 threat.

“If not financially, then morally. We can check the DOLE’s program that can help assist our local and overseas workers,” she said last week.

She said that the COVID-19 threat has severely affected the economic status of the country, therefore, also affecting workers in the different field.

In her privilege speech during the regular session last week, Morata said cited the Asian Development Bank (ADB) data which estimated that the country would result in about $ 1.939 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) decline due to the impact of the virus.

She added that some overseas Filipino workers have faced forced repatriation because of the impact of the virus.

In the domestic front, among the sectors that have absorbed the huge impact was the tourism industry as gatherings like conventions have been cancelled.

Librado-Morata said action must be taken to help the affected workers. “In this connection, I am calling for the local government for possible assistance to our OFWs who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus disease,” she said.

She has also urged DOLE to re-evaluate and re-assess their financial assistance programs such as, but not limited to Adjustment Measures Program (AMP), Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantage/Displaced Workers Programs (TUPAD) and Government Internship Program to meet the needs of those local and overseas workers who are affected by the said disease.

“I am appealing and hoping for government’s efficient interventions and allocation of enough resources because this issue of public health concerns our families and our workers,” she said, adding that the said assistance may also be extended to the families of the affected workers.

Morata said that in a recent consultation she attended, some left behind families of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) expressed concerns over the safety and security of their families who are working overseas

“The intervention of this city on this health issue is equally important, because the possible economic impact can be huge and we all stand to suffer if the (whole) country becomes affected,” she said.

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