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2020 Baguio Revitalization Actions for a Vibrant Economy - Economic Stimulus Package (BRAVE-ESP)

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Businesses urged to rehire retrenched workers

10 September 2020 – 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 Corona Virus Disease (COVID) 2019 pandemic as favorable to them upon resumption of normal business operations.

In a resolution, local 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.

With the city now moving forward and gearing up to revive the vibrance of the local 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 and 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 the prevalence of the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) in the city would allow some, if not all, to resume their operations and allow them to recoupe their economic gains and may be able to hire workers that were previously retrenched due to the economic slowdown btough about by the COVID-19 that caused the strict implementation of the Luzonwide lockdown.

The council added that as the city is openning 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 eave 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 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 sent it to a slowdown and that Baguio City was not exempted from the impact of the prevailing pandemic.

With public health at stake, the local 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 virus.

Among the mitigating measures that were 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 people 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. - Dexter A. See