A total of 2,737 aftershocks have been recorded as of noon Friday, with 73 of those reportedly felt, said Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) director Renato Solidum.
Solidum had warned residents in quake-hit areas not to reoccupy damaged buildings or homes because aftershocks may last for weeks or months and may cause further destruction to the structures.
Nearly 200 commercial establishments and 40 construction sites in Bohol have been shut down because of the quake, displacing over 300 workers and vendors, said the Department of Labor and Employment yesterday.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said 1,507 workers and 1,670 vendors were jobless following the quake, according to Philippine news reports.
Baldoz said commercial establishments have to temporarily close down pending inspection of the damaged buildings.
The DOLE, however, has not received any notices of permanent closure or termination.
“I have checked with our regional offices in Central Visayas and so far there is no formal notice of closure and termination filed by employers in Bohol and Cebu. Maybe the employers are still on wait-and-see attitude,” Baldoz said.
Baldoz said the tourism industry was badly affected by the quake.
“We were told that bookings from travelers were cancelled until December and the rehabilitation of the damaged tourism sites and even the airport in Bohol have yet to start,” she said.
She also said, “We are providing the affected workers assistance and DOLE can help them find alternative jobs in nearby provinces that were not affected by the quake,” she said.
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines president Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma yesterday told Radio Veritas that helping affected communities is more important than restoring the centuries-old churches destroyed by the quake in Central Visayas.
Church-based agencies are intensifying efforts to provide relief to thousands of people displaced by the Oct 15 tremor.
The clergy, religious groups and other lay organizations met on Wednesday to discuss how they could sustain relief efforts to affected areas.
Tagbilaran Bishop Leonardo Medroso said they are planning to provide temporary shelters to those affected by the earthquake.
“We have been asking our benefactors to supply us with tents so that people can stay in open spaces because they are afraid of the aftershocks,” he said. Image/wkyc.com