3.14M workers affected by COVID-19, lockdown

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    OVER three million workers have already been adversely affected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic as well as the subsequent community quarantines imposed to contain the spread of the virus.

    Data from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) showed that 3,140,651 workers have been affected by the twin phenomenon, as of September 6.

    “A total of 111,298 establishments covering 3,140,651 workers are implementing Flexible Work Arrangements (FWAs) and Temporary Closure (TC) from March 2020 to September 6, 2020,” said the DOLE report.

    In particular, a total of 83,837 establishments with 2,014,650 workers resorted to temporary stoppage of operations during the outbreak.

    On the other hand, there were 29,357 establishments covering 1,256,391 workers that implemented different flexible working schemes.

    Majority of the companies that implemented FWAs adopted reduction of workdays with 407,838 workers affected, and 343,927 workers forced to go on leave.

    Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III had earlier called on employers to exert more efforts in preserving jobs and prevent layoffs and retrenchments.

    To do so, DOLE has urged businesses to use alternative work arrangements and avoid permanent closures.