Job seekers will have to wait until after the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) crisis is over before they can apply in any of the job fairs organized by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

DOLE announced on Sunday that it is suspending its largest simultaneous nationwide Labor Day job fairs for this year in compliance with existing measures to fight Covid-19, particularly in areas under enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). Areas under ECQ until May 15 due to the high number of Covid-19 cases are Metro Manila, Central Luzon and Calabarzon.

Labor Assistant Secretary OIC Dominique R. Tutay said the postponement will also apply to the DOLE’s other regular job fairs.

“We have written instructions to our Regional Offices [on the suspension of job fairs] and the same has not been lifted yet,” said Tutay.

She said the budget for the job fairs remain intact under their employment facilitation programs, so they will be ready to implement it once the Covid-19 crisis is over.

Currently, the DOLE official said the agency’s funds are being spent on social protection and ensuring the welfare of workers affected by Covid-19.

Mass gatherings, which includes onsite job fairs, remain prohibited in areas under ECQ. The same rule is encouraged in areas under general community quarantine (GCQ), or areas which have more relaxed quarantine measures compared to locations under ECQ .

Tutay said the DOLE’s Labor Day celebration on Friday will be simpler than the ones staged in previous years.

In a previous statement, DOLE said President Duterte and Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III will just issue their respective Labor Day messages on May 1.

Bello is also expected to unveil DOLE’s employment and productivity recovery plan for Covid-19 on that day.

END/news article by Samuel P. Medenilla, Business Mirror (April 27, 2020)