The World Bank sees three million more Filipinos would either be unemployed or experience poverty this year as the Philippines’ COVID-19 crisis continues.
The bank, in a recent report entitled “Economic Impact of COVID-19: Implications for Health Financing in Asia and Pacific,” said the country would need an additional $70 million (over P3.3 billion) in social health insurance aids to help newly unemployed and impoverished Pinoys.
“Unemployment in the Philippines is expected to rise to 6.2 percent in 2020, up from 5.1 percent in 2019: implying an additional 1 million projected to be unemployed,” World Bank said in its September report.
In June, Philippine Statistics Authority’s (PSA) latest Labor Force Survey showed Friday that the country’s unemployment rate rosed to 17.7 percent or equivalent to 7.3 million Filipinos displaced due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
In August, a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey showed 45 percent of adult Filipinos were jobless in July amid the continuous increase of COVID-19 cases and implementation of community quarantines in the country.
3 million more Filipinos to be jobless, experience poverty – World Bank
The proportion of households who experienced involuntary hunger increased to 30.7 percent from July to September, breaking the 23.8 percent record in March 2012.
The World Bank previously projected that the Philippine economy would contract by 1.9% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 impact.
World Bank projection showed the Philippine economy would recover in the next two years, and the poverty rate would gradually decrease to 21.4 by 2021 percent and to 20.4 percent in 2022.
The World Bank said the government should increase financial support, especially on health expenses, for the bigger number of unemployed and poor Filipinos.
“Given current coverage and contribution rates, this could potentially imply additional outlays of … $70 million in the Philippines to manage the loss in contributions and potential increase in the need to provide subsidized coverage within [its social health insurance] scheme,” the World Bank said.