Press Releases
Strengthening LR programs addresses pandemic-caused labor market challenges – DOLE 2


Regional Director Joel M. Gonzales of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 2 has urged field office heads and Labor Relations (LR) focal persons, in collaborations with industries to strengthen LR programs in the region. The director says that through strengthened program implementation, a number of labor market challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic can be addressed.

In the region, there were reported cases of retrenchment by industries which resulted in the loss of jobs and income for workers and a decline in business productivity and profit, with the former having a stressful and emotional impact on the employed as well as those who have been laid off.

Director Gonzales said the imposed working arrangement and reduction of manpower in the private sector can be reinforced through education and awareness campaigns. Workers and employers should not only be equipped with a better understanding of labor standards laws, productivity, and health and safety standards but to also learn to appreciate the expediency of developing and establishing good working relationships in the organization.

Labor market challenges in the region include decreased earnings and working hours or complete job loss for the workers, likely the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and labor market.

Director Gonzales said among the hardest hit workers are those in the hotel and restaurant industry, self-employed workers, and informal and fixed-term workers such as tricycle drivers and other blue -collar workers. Additionally, vegetable farmers in the region also experienced losses that lead to bankruptcy as prices of their commodities plummet in the market.

Director Gonzales on the other hand sees the immediate need to conduct intensive labor education seminars for security agencies in the region. He said security guards are at a high risk. He further urges field office heads and LR focal persons to come up with a resolution through the region’s Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (TIPC) on monitoring the sustainability of this industry. The monitoring aims to ascertain whether agencies are compliant with labor standard laws, promoting fair competition, and no underpayment of wages.

In the recent LR meeting with Director Gonzales, he asked field offices to submit a plan of action in implementing its province-wide communication and awareness campaign to give technical advice on how to correct or formalize employment relationships in the workplace. ### FCA/

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