More than 420,000 Filipinos lost their jobs in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic affected the economy and forced businesses to close, according to the Department of Labor and Employment.
This brought the country’s unemployment rate to 10.2 percent in 2020, based on the latest Labor Force Survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority, DOLE Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay said during the Laging Handa briefing Friday.
“Doon po sa monitoring naman ng Department of Labor and Employment ng job displacement, mahigit 420,000 po ang permanently nawalan ng trabaho, at meron din pong 4.5 million workers affected by flexible work arrangement at temporary closure,” Tutay said.
The Labor Department has been allocated a total of P28.8 billion to assist affected workers, with a total of 3.4 million OFWs and in the informal and formal sectors benefiting from the DOLE’s CAMP, TUPAD and AKAP programs, according to the official.
Tutay said the country has initiated a three-year national employment recovery plan that will focus on four key areas: restarting of economic activities, restoration of business confidence, upgrading of the workforce, and facilitation to labor market access of job seekers.
“Inaasahan natin na maganda ang magiging outlook natin for 2021. Hindi man ito babalik doon sa pre-COVID pandemic situation, but at least malaki ang opportunity na makabangon na talaga ang ating ekonomiya at manggagawa. Naka-focus sa businesses at mga manggagawa ang tinatawag na National Employment Recovery Strategy,” she explained.
Tutay said that for 2021, jobs in the sectors of health, construction, business process outsourcing (BPO), and the government will continue to be in demand.
“So ‘yong pangangailangan po sa mga nurses, medical technologies, medical practitioners at saka sa mga pharmacists, iyan po ay nakikita po natin sa iba’t ibang job fairs na may mga bakante po na inu-offer,” she said.
The country’s “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program is also seen to help stave off unemployment this year, among other sectors.
“And then, of course, the very resilient sector is the Business Process Outsourcing. So iyong information technology, customer service representatives, programmers, encoders at saka po iyong mga app and game developers, iyan po ay in-demand. And asahan din po natin iyong mga offerings po na job vacancies or job positions po sa gobyerno po,” she explained.
More than half of Filipino adults had emotional problems as they lost their jobs or sources of income because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Pulse Asia survey released on Thursday showed.
The survey organization said that 58 percent of Filipinos lost either their job or source of income because of the pandemic, while 51 percent experienced emotional problems such as extreme sadness, and 55 percent became closer to their family members.