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PCCI belies DOLE claim only 69,000 are unemployed, says 3.5M workers displaced from group alone

The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the country’s largest business organization, belied the claim of the Department of Labor and Employment that only tens of thousands of Filipinos were unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an interview on Dobol B sa News TV, PCCI chairperson Alegria Limjoco said the business group alone has recorded 3.5 million workers displaced by the lockdown measures amid the health crisis.

“Malayong malayo po sa 69,000,” Limjoco said.

The PCCI chair was asked to comment on Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III’s claim that the Philippine Statistics Authority’s report that unemployment rate rose to a record-high 17.7% in April, equivalent to 7.3 million unemployed individuals, was “not actual or factual.”

Bello said that the actual number of unemployed persons were only at 69,000 since only 2,068 companies or employers have reported closure.

The PSA, for its part, stood by its report.

Nevertheless, Limjoco said that since the government relaxed lockdown measures about 30% of workers have already returned to their respective jobs.

“Nung nag-GCQ, nagi-improve na po. Marami nang nakakapasok,” she said.

“Kaya lang po ang transportation ay next week pa kaya [‘yung iba] hindi pa sila nakaka-report,“ she added.

The PCCI chair urged the government to fast-track the resumption of public transportation so that employees can go back to work.—AOL, GMA News