Thu. Sep 23rd, 2021

“As of April 29, around 2.3 million workers have been displaced due to Covid-19 outbreak…”

MANILA – Workers can exercise the right to air their grievances on Labor Day as long as they follow quarantine protocols imposed by the government to stop the transmission of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) in the country, Malacañang said on Thursday.

“Hinahayaan naman po natin na magsalita at ilabas ang hinaing ng ating mga uring manggagawa (We are letting the workers speak up and air their grievances),” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a virtual presser aired on state-run PTV-4.

Instead of the usual massive assembly every May 1, labor groups can also stage their annual Labor Day protests online, Roque said.

Roque reminded workers that mass gathering amid the Covid-19 crisis and during the implementation of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) is prohibited.

“Bawal po ang physical gathering ‘no. So puwede naman po kayong magprotesta online kung ninanais ninyo. Huwag lang nating lalabagin iyong ECQ dahil mas malaking banta iyan sa kalusugan (Physical gathering is prohibited. You can launch an online protest if you want. Do not violate the ECQ because it will be a big threat to your health),” he said.

Several labor groups, such as Kilusang Mayo Uno and Nagkaisa Labor Coalition, are planning an online protest, instead of the traditional gathering at the Mendiola Peace Arch in the City of Manila.

The Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, meantime, is encouraging workers to join the noise barrage on Labor Day by banging empty pots and pans in front of their homes.

Labor groups are demanding for paid quarantine leave, guaranteed income, and hazard pay amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Roque said the government is crafting a recovery plan for workers.

“Mag a-unveil po tayo ng recovery plan para nga po sa ating mga manggagawa (We will unveil the recovery plan for workers). It will be announced on May 1,” he said.

He said apart from the recovery plan for workers, several programs have been launched to help displaced workers sustain their needs amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Since the country was hit by Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has implemented Covid-19 Adjustment Program and Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Displaced or Disadvantaged Workers Program.

As of April 29, around 2.3 million workers have been displaced due to Covid-19 outbreak, the DOLE reported. (IA/PNA)

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