Pandemic blow: Tokyo think tank survey says 3 of every 4 PH households lost jobs, working hours
MANILA, Philippines—Almost three out of every four households in the Philippines had members who lost their jobs or went underemployed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to results of a survey by the Tokyo-based think tank Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI).
The ADBI’s phone survey from May to July showed that 73.5 percent of respondents in the Philippines said their household had at least one member who a job or had reduced workload, ADBI vice chair of research Peter J. Morgan said at an online seminar on Wednesday (Sept. 16).
The Philippines posted the highest rate, way above Vietnam’s 50.2 percent, Thailand’s 48.2 percent, Myanmar’s 46 percent, Malaysia’s 44.1 percent, Indonesia’s 36.7 percent, Laos’ 31.7 percent, and Cambodia’s 25.2 percent, outpacing the regional average of 44.4 percent.
The survey covered 1,000 households each in these eight developing Asean member-countries.
Of the Filipino households whose members went jobless or underemployed, the survey results said:
- 28.2 percent temporarily lost their jobs
- 22.5 percent were laid off
- 12.8 percent suffered a reduction in their work days
- 7.5 percent had fewer working hours
It said 85 percent of households surveyed in the Philippines admitted that they suffered from financial difficulties amid the pandemic.
In particular, 84 percent of households said their total income declined because of the pandemic, while only 1 percent said they had higher incomes despite the tougher times.
It didn’t help that for the majority, or 51.8 percent, of Filipino respondents, their resources for basic necessities could last for only less than two weeks during the time they were surveyed.
To cope, most Filipino families slashed expenditures, sold home-made food or other items online, as well as borrowed from microfinance institutions, the survey showed.
Majority, or 53 percent, of households in the Philippines also cut on their expenses, outnumbering the 29 percent who increased their spending and 17 percent which kept expenditure levels the same as those prior to the pandemic.
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