Philippine Standard time

Impact of COVID-19 on Education Workers and Union Responses

The economic and social disruptions brought about by the pandemic affected millions of workers in the Philippines. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported 191,117 displaced workers from 6,602 establishments between January and May 2021 (Chiu 2021a). Some 86.5 percent of firms reduced their workforce while 13.5 percent permanently shut down (Chiu 2021a). The DOLE report dovetailed with the employment situation presented by Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). PSA (2021) reported a 7.7 percent unemployment rate in June 2021, equivalent to 3.76 million Filipinos aged 15 years old and over. The high number of displaced workers was a result of the various mobility restrictions imposed by the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF), the adoption of flexible work arrangements allowed in several labor advisories from the DOLE, and the permanent and temporary closures of establishments. The establishments affected by shutdowns included schools and colleges. The closure of private schools resulted in the displacement of thousands of teachers. Aside from job losses, the dire situation of academic workers was characterized by mass furloughs, delays in salaries, and reduced benefits (Iñigo 2020; Mateo 2020; Malipot 2020). This affected the well-being of many education workers not just in the country but also around the world 


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