Ayuda is urgent. Millions of Filipinos struggling with poverty even before the pandemic are now also dealing with joblessness from the lockdowns and rapidly rising prices of goods and services. Expanded emergency cash assistance combined with expanded support for farmers, fisherfolk and small businesses are critical to spur real economic recovery.
- 7.7% inflation in October is already highest in 14 years, with more price increases in food, transport, water and electricity to come
- 19.4 million families don’t have any savings and are vulnerable to every increase in prices as of third quarter 2022
- Php570 minimum wage in NCR is highest in the country but even this has not kept up with inflation — measured in 2018 prices, it has fallen from Php501 in October 2021 to just Php494 in October 2022
- 20.2 million Filipinos are only self-employed (13.1 million) or in other informal work (7.1 million) with low and irregular earnings as of September 2022
- IBON estimates that families lost at least Php30,000 in income on average because of the lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 — providing this to 19 million poor and vulnerable families will help them cope with inflation and stimulate economic activity. Government assistance, however, has been limited.