Press Releases
Feeling the pinch of COVID-19, DOLE calls on ITCs to work together


Cebu City, Philippines. In its bid to help cushion the workers and employers from the harsh effects of COVID-19, the Department of Labor and Employment launched a more intensive dialogue with the various Industry Tripartite Councils (ITCs) and the Regional Tripartite Industrial Peace Council (RTIPC) in Region-7.

DOLE-7 Regional Director Salome O. Siaton underscores the importance of tripartism – the coming together of the representatives of labor, management, and government to discuss concerns involving various industries particularly in the face of the present serious threat that the COVID-19 outbreak poses to everyone.

“We believe that sound industrial relations and effective social dialogue are some means to promote the interest not just of the workers but also that of the employers. Now, that we are confronted with the phenomenon, this kind of collaboration with our partner-establishments is badly needed if we are to protect workers and the businesses,” said the Regional Director.

On 14 February, representatives of the ITC in Hotels, Resorts, Restaurants and Tourism (HRRT) were convened, which was followed by the Board of Trustees (BOTs) of the RTIPC as well as representatives of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and the Hotel, Resort & Restaurant Association of Cebu, Inc. (HRRACI) on 2 March. The ITC in Education followed suit and convened for a meeting four days later.

According to Director Siaton, the dialogue conducted among the different ITCs was necessary where the impact of the outbreak to businesses and the workers was discussed at length including the possible measures that could be potentially used.

Other ITCs will also be called for a meeting on the following dates: 18 March- ITC in Construction; 19 March- ITC in Bus Transport; and 31 March- ITC in Wholesale and Retail.

“Very soon, we will also be convening the rest of the ITCs in the Region. This is high time for all of us to work together and help one another. We could not afford for businesses closing down. We also do not want many workers getting displaced from work. In the dialogues we conducted, the use of a flexible work arrangements was brought up and was seen as the most practical measure as of the moment that could help preserve employment,” added the DOLE-7.

Just last week, Labor Advisory No. 9, Series of 2020 on “Flexitime” work arrangements was released by Secretary Bello.

As of 6 March 2020, DOLE-7 already tallied more than 2,000 workers in Central Visayas being affected by the flexible work arrangements that concerned establishments are resorting to at present due to COVID-19. Of which, over 1,000 workers come from the Manufacturing industry, 222 from Spas and around 36 from Resorts.

“As of now, our database tells us that there are already 19 establishments employing flexible work arrangements, either reduction of workdays, rotation of workers, and the use of forced leaves,” Director Siaton finally quipped.




For more information on this report, you may contact Luchel SenarloTaniza, Regional Labor Communication Officer at telefax number (032) 266-2792 or you may send an email at


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