CAGAYAN DE ORO (MindaNews / 18 July) – At least 8,000 employees of stores selling non-essential items in at least 10 shopping malls here found themselves jobless on the first day of the implementation of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) on Saturday.
Councilor George Goking, who chairs the Cagayan de Oro City Council trade and commerce committee, said the workers represent 80 percent of the estimated 10,000 employees working in stores inside the malls.
“The first day is grim. Some 8,000 people lost their jobs outright,” Goking said, adding these workers would be jobless from until July 31 when the ECQ would be lifted.
The Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) on Friday placed the city under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) after the Department of Health in Manila announced that 16 cases of Delta vaiants of COVID-19 were detected in the country, six of these in Northern Mindanao, five of them in Cagayan de Oro City.
Goking said only establishments offering basic necessities like pharmacies, banks, supermarkets, telecom shops and hardware stores inside the malls are allowed to open during the ECQ, the most restrictive among quarantine classifications.
He said restaurants are allowed to open but would only cater to takeout and delivery by food carriers.
Director Mari-Flor Dollaga of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Northern Mindanao said it had 20,000 family food packs ready for distribution in case the local government of Cagayan de Oro asks for it.
Dollaga said the DSWD also has a standby fund of P3 million ready for release for the local government of Cagayan de Oro.
The National Economic Development Authority regional office said at least 4,200 workers of Cagayan de Oro firms have been displaced from May to June this year because of the strict quarantine controls.
Another 1,173 skilled workers of Cagayan de Oro’s small to medium enterprises also lost their jobs during the same period, it said. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)