Press Release
March 17, 2020


Sen. Grace Poe on Tuesday urged the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infections Disease to include informal sector workers in the programs designed to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the local economy.

Poe reminded the task force handling the coronavirus crisis that members of the informal economy, who rely on unstable means of livelihood, are now more vulnerable than ever.

"'Yung mga nangongolekta ng basura, nagbebenta ng taho at fishball, pati na rin ang mga tricycle at jeepney drivers, street-sweepers at construction workers-sila ang pinaka tatamaan ng enhanced community quarantine. Kung hindi sila makakapagtrabaho ay wala rin silang ipapakain sa kanilang pamilya," she said.

Families of informal sector workers should also be among the beneficiaries of food packs and relief assistance to help them tide over this crisis.

Poe made the appeal following an announcement by President Duterte's economic team that the government was rolling out a P27.1-billion package to aid frontliners fight the novel coronavirus outbreak and provide economic relief to sectors affected by the pandemic.

Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Poe noted that roughly 650,000 Filipinos are engaged in low-paying jobs in the informal sector and they contribute around P5.013 trillion to the economy or around one third of the country's gross domestic product growth.

"They have given so much to the Philippine economy, yet they are not covered by social security. It's only fair that they are given adequate assistance during this difficult period," she said.

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