If you’re working nowadays, whether remotely or on-site, consider yourself lucky. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed that the unemployment rate last April 2020 stood at 17.7% – or equivalent to 7.3 million jobless Filipinos, an all-time high.
The main cause is the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the implementation of one of the strictest and longest lockdowns in the world. Metro Manila only eased into a general community quarantine (GCQ) to revive the struggling economy beginning June 1.
According to the PSA, the hardest-hit region was the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) at 29.8%. January 2020 began with a 94.7% employment rate and dropped to 82.3% in April – equal to 33.8 million. Compared to last year, April 2019 saw a rate of 94.9% or 41.8 million.
The topic of job loss made headlines recently after 6 jeepney drivers were arrested for protesting against the national gov’t’s ban on jeepneys in the National Capital Region. Transport group PISTON called for their release, stating that it was ‘hunger’ that led to the protest.