The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) paid tribute to the initiative of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to provide emergency employment program to workers who may be displaced due to the imposition of COVID-19 Alert Level 3 in the National Capital Region (NCR) and four provinces.

It was estimated that about 200,000 workers particularly those in the tourism and restaurant businesses may be displaced under Alert Level 3 in NCR alone.

In a statement issued by Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia, the CHR said that “ensuring the livelihood and jobs of vulnerable Filipinos is as potent as protecting the public’s health during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Having a decent job is essential to live a dignified life and to be able to surmount the challenges of the current times,” De Guia said.

She pointed out that DOLE’s provision of 10 days of emergency employment to displaced workers “will cushion the impact of the more stringent alert level to affected workers.”

“Their dire situation necessitates holistic and expedient action to allow them to begin genuine recovery from the blows of the pandemic,” she said.

“Through convergence with other government programs, we are hopeful that all impacted workers will receive the support and assistance they need as the country grapples with the surge of the Omicron variant,” she added.

DOLE Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III had earlier assured the readiness of his department to provide assistance to workers who may be affected by the tighter restrictions being imposed in the NCR and nearby provinces of Laguna, Cavite, Bulacan and Rizal.

Bello said DOLE was expecting some 100,000 to 200,000 workers that will be affected while the NCR is under Alert Level 3.

He said that the DOLE, together with the Department of Tourism (DOT), already allocated a total of P50 million budget under the COVID-19 Adjustment Program (CAMP) for affected workers in the tourism industry.

He also said that DOLE is ready to allot P1 billion in case of a “worst-case scenario” or during extreme alert level restrictions.

Among the assistance being eyed to be implemented by the DOLE is providing a one-time cash aid for displaced workers, he added.

Source: Manila Bulletin (