Malacañang on Tuesday said the job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic are only temporary as the government eased restrictions to allow more businesses to resume operations.
“Inaaasahan natin na temporary lamang dahil alam po natin na epekto lang ito ng COVID. Babangon po tayo uli, magtatrabaho po tayo muli,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a televised briefing.
Roque drew criticism for saying on Monday he was “glad” that only 45.5% of adult Filipinos or around 27.3 million people were unemployed in July based on the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The Palace official clarified on Tuesday that the poll result was a sad development.
“Ang ibig ko lang pong sabihin it could have been worse,” Roque said. “Nalulungkot po tayo.”
Roque said on Monday that the only way to address joblessness is to revive the economy, which slipped into a recession this year due to the public health crisis.
President Rodrigo Duterte returned Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal to general community quarantine (GCQ), effective August 19 until August 31.
Other areas placed under GCQ were Nueva Ecija, Batangas, Quezon, Iloilo City, Cebu City, Lapu Lapu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City, and the municipalities of Minglanilla and Consolacion in Cebu province.
The rest of the Philippines will be under modified general community quarantine. — RSJ, GMA News