2.2 million workers affected by Odette

Louise Maureen Simeon - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Up to 2.2 million workers nationwide have been affected by Typhoon Odette, aggravating the already challenging labor market condition in the provinces amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Based on the rapid assessment of the International Labor Organization (ILO), workers in Western Visayas were hardest hit, with 672,000 or 21 percent of its labor force affected, followed by Central Visayas with 643,000 and Caraga, 363,000.

“The devastation of Typhoon Odette risks exacerbating pre-existing labor market challenges for various vulnerable groups,” ILO said.

Nearly 40 percent or 839,000 of the affected workers are women.

Prior to the typhoon, three in five women workers were employed in agriculture, wholesale and retail trade and domestic work.

ILO said these sectors typically receive lower pay and are less productive.

Young people and older workers, both of whom face age-related employment challenges, account for an estimated 297,000 and 378,000, respectively, of the impacted workers.

”Even before the disaster caused by Odette, many of the affected workers were self-employed with limited income security and access to social protection, leaving them highly vulnerable in circumstances of a negative shock,” ILO said.

In Western Visayas, a majority of the affected workers were in the agriculture sector followed by trade and transportation.

In Central Visayas, workers in manufacturing and other market services aside from agriculture were affected.

ILO said it would assist affected regions under its existing projects for a human-centered recovery through decent work and sustainable livelihood.


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