Despite the negative effects brought about by COVID-19, employees and workers experience positive impact.

Employees and employees we surveyed felt that the top negative impacts of COVID-19 are decrease in income (35.4%), difficulty in buying necessities (32.3%) and depression and anxiety (19.2%).

Despite these, they also reported positive effects brought about by the pandemic. Because of limited movement, almost half (49.2%) reported that they now have more time to for their families. Some (24.9) were able to pursue their hobbies like cooking, gardening, sewing, while others (22.6%) were able to find new ways of generating other sources of income.

Employees and workers wanted the city government of Tagbilaran to focus its efforts on containing the spread of the virus.

When asked what should be the focus of the City Government of Tagbilaran, workers and employees surveyed prioritized the following:

  1. containing the spread of the virus
  2. supporting residents stranded in other locations
  3. promoting mental health

How do you think the city performed in this three areas?

3 out of the 5 top concerns of workers and employees are health-related.

The top concern of employees and workers is contracting the virus that would lead to increase in the number of COVID + people (3rd in rank) and consequently impacting on the capacity of the health care system to respond (5th in rank).

Financial insecurity due to job loss is their second most pressing concern while economic recession is ranked 4th.

Based on focus group discussions with employees and workers, their ability to work is dependent on their health, and thus they fear that they or their family members will test COVID-19 positive.

Most employees and workers need financial measures to protect their liquidity and survive this pandemic.

The top three assistance that workers and employees need are (1) payroll subsidy, (2) deferment of utility bills, and (3) low interest loans. All of these measures can help them extend the amount of money that they have and survive the pandemic.

Unfortunately, no one among the employees we surveyed was able to receive assistance through the Department of Labor and Employment’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (DOLE-CAMP). However, almost everyone (90%) received assistance from the City Government of Tagbilaran. The remaining 10% are those that are not qualified (e.g. they are not residents of the city).

DOLE CAMP has been reported to be grossly insufficient to meet the needs of qualified employees/workers. Based on DOLE’s records, only 99 businesses out of the 16,529 registered businesses in Tagbilaran had workers who benefitted from the program.

Employees and workers express the likelihood of getting depressed, contracting the virus, or losing their jobs.

29% of employees and workers expressed the likelihood of getting depressed.

26% of employees and workers are worried they might contract the virus.

21% of employees and workers see the likelihood that they will lose their jobs in the next six months.

These call for really concrete measures in combating mental health, containing the spread of the virus, and protecting jobs.

Workers report that they now have more time to spend with their families. However, depression and anxiety start to affect a few.

Workers we surveyed identified a few positive effects of the pandemic. Some (45%) said they now have more time to spend with their family, while a few others said they are now able to pursue their hobbies (25%), engage in income-generating activities (23%), and connect with friends (21%).

However, the pandemic also start to impact on workers’ psycho-social and emotional health. A few workers report feelings of anxiety (35%) and depression (19%), increased quarrels at home (5$), and having bad dreams (4%).

Workers in the tourism sector were hit the hardest while government employees were the least affected.

4 out of 10 workers we surveyed experienced a significant decrease in income while 2 out of 10 workers lost jobs temporarily or permanently.

Among the sectors, 9 out of 10 workers in the tourism sector felt the negative impact of COVID 19 on their income, work, or source of livelihood. This is followed by those working in the service sector where 5 out of 10 reported the same.

Only those working in the government were not affected by COVID-19 as most receive their salaries even with reduced working hours.

It is important to note here, that for every one person who lost his/her job, at least 3 other people are affected. Most employees are supporting two other people besides themselves.

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