The Department of Labor and Employment – Region XI (DOLE XI) confirmed that about about 10,133 employers in Davao Region have notified their office about their retrenchment plan and total business closure due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their operations.

DOLE-Davao Mediator-Arbiter Atty. Connie Beb Torralba confirmed during a virtual presser that about 200,000 workers will be gravely affected.

“ We expect that there are employers who opted to retrench, if that is so, before the retrenchment they need to undergo due process . The separation of employees must be due to an authorized cause; for one it could be because of financial losses as suffered by the employer,” she said.

Torralba reminded employers that 30 days before the effectivity of their separation, the employee must be informed beforehand and their office as well must be informed about the company’s retrenchment plan or total cessation of business.

“The employees should know about the payment of separation if it is brought about by financial losses. The employee must receive half of his monthly salary in every year of service,” she added.

Torralba also advsied employers to opt to reduce the salary of its employees instead of retrenching them for as long as this has been agreed upon by both parties.  The DOLE-Davao, on the other hand, still encourages employers to implement alternative and flexible work arrangement.

“ We asked them to have the compassion and humanitarian action of retaining their employees instead of termination. There are alternative and flexible ways of doing this such as by rotation of duty, reduced work hours or work week, work from home arrangement, or telecommuting,” she said.

The pandemic has severely affected many business establishments in the region putting them in a precarious situation of whether to continue operating or just close shop.  (Rommel F. Lopez)