With ABS-CBN closure, MECQ, displaced hit 15,000

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THE declaration of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in some areas as well as the mass retrenchment at ABS-CBN Corp.—shut down by Congress’ refusal to renew its franchise—contributed to the spike in the number of jobless workers last week, which reached over 15,000.

This was the first time permanent displacement figures breached the 10,000 mark in the last four weeks. During the said period, the average number of unemployed workers was 7,386.

“We are looking at the MECQ as the possible reason,” Labor Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay told BusinessMirror in a Viber message.

The National Capital Region (NCR), Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal were placed under MECQ last Tuesday, which led to the temporary banning of public transportation and limited business operations in the said areas.

The MECQ, which is expected to last up to August 18, 2020, aims to grant exhausted medical workers in the affected areas some reprieve amid rising infections, and enable the government to improve its response to the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Tutay noted the latest displacement report also includes the over 4,500 employees, who were retrenched by ABS-CBN after Congress rejected renewal of its franchise. Besides the 4,500 regular employees, the Lopez-led network provides various forms of employment to 6,500 others.

New trend

In it latest report, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported the number of displaced workers displaced from August 2 to August 9, 2020, rose to 157,000 from 141,958 in the previous week.

Of these figures, 143,200 were retrenched by 6,163 companies, while the remaining 13,484 were left jobless with the permanent closure of 680 establishments.

As in previous weeks, the NCR still registered the highest number of displaced workers with 75,178. It was followed by Calabarzon with 32,421 and Central Luzon with 17,368.

In terms of industries, the top 3 industry groups with the most number of displacements are still the administrative and support services activities (36,578); other services activities (20,689), and the manufacturing (20,179).

To note, the industry with the biggest increase in displacement was the information and communication sector. The number of its unemployed workers soared to 12,895 from 6,808 in the previous displacement report of DOLE.

Image credits: AP/Aaron Favila

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