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Labor groups ask for cash assistance as workers lose livelihood due to NCR Plus bubble restriction

Labor groups called on the government to provide cash assistance as workers lose their livelihood due to the restrictions imposed on the so-called NCR Plus bubble.

According to JP Soriano’s report on “24 Oras” Saturday, many gym, salon, and spa employees are having a hard time making ends meet since their workplaces shut down for two weeks as part of the Inter-Agency Task Force’s efforts to lower COVID-19 cases.

According to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), as of Feb. 28, over 71,744 workers have been displaced, 44,323 of which are in Metro Manila.

The Associated Labor Union-Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (ALU-TUCP) called on the help of the government to give aid to the employees affected.

“Ang kailangan namin is kaakibat na ayuda o tulong na cash assistance mula sa gobyerno. Either ang tulong pwedeng manggaling sa national level o manggaling sa LGUs,” a representative said.

[What we need is the corresponding aid or cash assistance from the government. The help can either come from the national level or from local government units.]

DOLE said that although there was no available aid for workers affected by the NCR Plus bubble restriction, there was PHP2 billion worth of funds left in the tourism sector under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act or Bayanihan 2. 

This can mean PHP5,000 aid each for over 400,000 employees since gyms, spas, and salons are considered sub-sectors of tourism.

For those affected by the two-week closure, DOLE said they could apply with their respective agencies.

DOLE said it was also pushing for a wage subsidy program where it would give aid to employers, who would in turn continue to pay for their employees’ salaries. – Kaela Malig/RC, GMA News