Poverty in the Philippines worsened because of the spread of COVID-19 in the country. On March 16, 2020, the Philippines’ government under President Rodrigo Duterte imposed an enhanced community quarantine. It’s been nine months of quarantine, yet there’s no foolproof plan on the table to address the country’s worsening poverty.
The study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) shows that the coronavirus pandemic can cause the lead of the economy to 1.5 million Filipinos becoming poor. The research shows a scenario where the number of poor Filipinos can increase by 5.5 million if everyone is on the receiving end of a 10% decrease in their income. The Philippine Statistics Authority said that the Philippines is now in recession as the economy shrank by 16.5% in the 2nd quarter of 2020 – the lowest drop ever on record.
Throughout the Philippines’ coronavirus pandemic, citizens are rallying for help and begging for alms on the street. Over 7.3 million Filipinos lost their jobs in the Philippines as its unemployment rate hits a record high of 17.7% due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) estimated a P767.18-billion worth of economic losses from Luzon’s 6-week enhanced community quarantine. It’s GDP growth projections expect 2020 to experience a growth fall between -0.6% and 4.3%. PIDS recommended that the government invest more attention to investing in quality data, strengthening digitalization efforts and financial innovations, and improving education systems.
The poor will continue to become poorer if the pandemic continues its wrath to the country. The government should take action now to prevent further damage to the pandemic and poverty to its people. If the government cannot give an efficient and practical approach to this, the damage will not be restorable. The people will die, and the economy will suffer a downturn, and the social class problem will continue.