The City Council, during last Monday’s regular session, requested all business establishments, including educational institutions, in the city to consider the rehiring of retrenched employees due to the serious negative effect of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) upon resumption of normal business operations.
In a resolution, city legislators stated that losing a job through retrenchment is allegedly depressing to employees since it is not based on their performance or other personnel productivity assessment, and because the city is now moving forward and gearing up to revive the vibrance of the city economy, businesses with capabilities must accept new or rehire old employees, without prejudice to their recruitment policies, and the same would definitely give renewed hopes to struggling families to have a chance to better living amidst the global health crisis, most especially to youth and young professionals.
The council added that the easing up of restrictions to business operations in the city during this period of modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in the city would allow some, if not all, to resume their operations and recoup their economic gains and may be able to hire workers retrenched due to the economic slowdown due to the COVID-19 that caused the strict implementation of the Luzonwide lockdown.
The council added that as the city is planning to open its doors to tourism and other business operations like construction, transportation and food service activities, it is clear that the city is trying to take necessary but calculated steps in reviving the city’s economy ensuring that there is still balance between economy and public health.
According to the councilors, the prolonged restrictions on businesses resulting to manpower reduction led the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to project the unemployment rate this year to rise to 8 to 10 percent, which will leave 3 to 5 million jobless Filipinos and most of them are expected to come from sectors such as accommodation and food service activities; wholesale and retail non-essential services; transportation; arts; entertainment and recreation and education.
The council recognized the fact that the COVID-19 outbreak significantly impacted the country’s economy and slowed it down and that Baguio City was not exempted from the impact of the prevailing community quarantine.
With public health at stake, the city government was constrained to comply with the stringent guidelines imposed by the national inter-agency task force for the management of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases to mitigate the effects of the spread of the deadly virus.
Among the mitigating measures imposed by the city were the modified transport scheme; temporary closure or cessation of non-essential business entities; migrating education to online or virtual classes; restrictions to the peoples mobility and declaring provisional lockdowns and that the same has resulted to permanent or temporary economic losses to both the local government and businesses. Earlier, the DOLE pushed for the preservation of employment by businesses through work from home, compressed work arrangements, other alternative work schemes and telecommuting for workers as the country slowly transitions to the new normal. By Dexter A. See