Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III (PNA photo by Villamor Visaya Jr.)

CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela – At least 6,000 jobs in business process outsourcing (BPO) companies will put a “silver lining on job opportunities” amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) health crisis affecting the country's workforce, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said.

Bello told the Philippine News Agency in an exclusive interview at his residence in Baligatan village here on Sunday that the global economic downturn caused by the pandemic has, on the other hand, brought the resurgence of the BPO industry with many companies abroad eyeing offices in Metro Manila, Clark, and Cebu areas.

“BPO companies had notified us in posting thousands of additional seats to fill up their manpower requirements and we hope that this will fill-in the void caused by the temporary displacement of at least two million private workers due to the pandemic,” he said.

Bello also rued the Philippine Statistics Authority survey report of a seven-million job displacement as “mere estimates”, saying only 2.7 million laid off workers were officially reported to the department.

He cautioned employers against “haphazard” dismissal of workers, adding that those who are laid off should receive a separation pay of one month for every year of service. (PNA)