According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), their earlier pronouncement of around 300,000 workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) and four neighboring provinces, was accurate as the NCR+ bubble downgraded to the status of general community quarantine (GCQ) with “heightened restrictions”.
On March 29, Metro Manila and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal were once again placed under the strict enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) status as Covid19 infections surged in the country.
With cases lowering from a daily tally of more than 10,000, officials decided to make the shift to GCQ on May 15, with additional restrictions such as no leisure and entertainment centers allowed operation, nor unauthorized travel by individuals from the NCR+ bubble.
Under the GCQ guidelines, indoor and alfresco dining at limited capacities (20% and 50% respectively) have resumed, along with some personal service establishments that don’t require the removal of face masks including salons and beauty clinics, also at a limited capacity of 30%.
The return of such services has contributed to the bulk of the 200,000 to 300,000 employees that have rejoined the workforce, DTI Undersecretary Ireneo Vizmonte clarified recently.
However, Vizmonte also mentioned that some 700,000 workers will remain unemployed due to the “high risk” nature of their jobs.
This news comes as a recent study by the iPrice consumer data aggregation group revealed that with the living expenses averaging at P50,798 a month in contrast to the average monthly net earnings of citizens at P18,900, Manila ranks as the 3rd most expensive city in Southeast Asia to live in.