October 18, 2021 People's Tonight 133 views

THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) would do well to come up with programs aimed at assisting individuals and industries adversely affected by the deadly COVID-19.

Noting the “alarming” employment figures in the country, no less than Sen. Sonny Angara underscored the importance of helping all the affected sectors in coping with the pandemic.

Senator Angara, chairman of the powerful Senate committee on finance, made the statement during the public hearing on the proposed 2022 budget of the labor department.

“It’s a well-established fact that COVID-19 has exacerbated or made inequality worse. We are adding to the ranks of the poor people if we do not develop programs on the fly,” he said.

We share the view of Angara that the employment figures, as reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), are “alarming,” notably the 8.1 percent unemployment rate in August 2021.

The 8.1 percent unemployment rate is equivalent to around 3.88 million jobless Filipinos and is higher than the 6.9 percent jobless rate recorded in July 2021.

What’s worse is that many of the country’s business establishments, particularly the small enterprises, have remained closed because of continued quarantine restrictions

In addressing the problem in this poverty-stricken nation of more than 110 million people, what’s important is to ensure that no Filipino who needs help will be left behind.

We can understand that concerned government agencies cannot just employ all COVID-19-displaced workers at this time because the pandemic is still a major headache of the authorities.

Pero ang mahalaga ay makita ng taumbayan, lalo na ang mga empleyado, na gumagawa ng paraan ang gobyerno para lang matulungan ang mga nangangailangan ng tulong sa buong bansa.