The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in the province has retracted its earlier statement that an estimated 100 small businesses have closed either temporarily or permanently.

Local chief labor and employment officer Luis Evangelista said only there were only four total closures and not 100 as he earlier stated.

Evangelista clarified further that the figure he gave was a combination of various categories of businesses and does not only identify the number of closed establishments.

“Itong sa 100 na nabanggit na establishments, ito ay various, ang content nito ay ito ang mga establishment na nag-submit sa amin ng report. Meron dito na total closure, may temporary closure, meron na work reduction, o tinatawag na flexible work arrangement and may reduction ng workforce,” he said.

“Iyong 100 plus na nag-submit na establishments ay halo-halo siya. Hindi siya totally nagsara, meron lang nagbawas ng empleyado, retrenchment, ‘yon lang ang gusto natin i-clarify,” Evangelista clarified to Palawan News on Friday.

Evangelista initially said that 100 establishments reported for temporary and permanent closure to DOLE Palawan during the interview on Wednesday.

In a breakdown given by Evangelista on Friday, the total number of reports from establishments that were received by DOLE Palawan is 161.

Establishments that reported they will be closing operations were four, while there were 28 that declared temporary closure and 89 that shifted to flexible work arrangements. Around 40, on the other hand, reported retrenching their personnel and staff.

Evangelista said that most of the establishments which submitted reports to them were tourism-related located in the towns of Coron, El Nido, and Puerto Princesa City.

“Although siya ay submitted na sa DOLE dito kaya lang hindi pa siya totally reported sa central office kasi ito ay mayroong tinatawag na monitoring system ng central office. Hindi pa siya na-i-encode doon sa system kaya ‘di pa siya makita agad ng central office,” he said.

“Ito ay on hand pa lang sa atin na sinasabi natin na for encoding pa lang ang iba. Iyong iba kasi, mga naunang nag-submit ay wala pa online submission so ngayon yong iba ay niri-require na online na yong submission, may system na doon na puwede nilang ma-access lahat ng establishments,” Evangelista added.

Evangelista said that establishments that reported to them before the implementation of the online submission are requested to re-submit through the online process.

“Itong mga naunang nag-submit ay niri-request nga namin sila na kung pupwede ay mag-online submission sila. May requirement kasi ron for example is yong isang kopya ng business permit na kailangan i-attach nila. Iyon ang nagiging dilemma namin sa pa-encode kasi wala kaming data ng mga naunang nag-submit,” he said.