Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque encouraged workers displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic to seek government loans and put up small businesses.

“Ineenganyo natin ang lahat ng nawalan ng trabaho na umutang ng kapital para magsimula ng kanilang sariling negosyo. Nagpapautang ang DTI (Department of Trade Industry), ang DA (Department of Agriculture), ang DOF (Department of Finance). Hindi tayo magkukulang ng sources of funding pati na ‘yung mga microfinance institutions whether they be supported by the government or mga private sector,” said Roque.

This suggestion came after the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Labor Organization (ILO) released a report that over one million Filipino youth may lose their jobs due to the pandemic, adding that the youth would be hit harder by the socio-economic impact of the crisis than adults. The two organizations also estimate around 687,000 to 1.019 million young workers to go jobless if the economy continues to weaken.

Recently, the Social Weather Stations (SWS) released a survey showing that adult joblessness in the country reached 45.5% or 27.3 million in July. The unemployment figure is higher than 17.5% or 9 million jobless adults recorded last December.

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