SWS says 4.1 million working-age Filipinos stranded due to community quarantines

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 13) — Around 4.1 million of working-age Filipinos got stranded due to community quarantines implemented across the country, a Social Weather Stations survey revealed on Saturday.

The special SWS COVID-19 Mobile Phone survey noted that this represents 5.4% of the country’s working-age population at 75.8 million. Working-age Filipinos are defined as those 15 years old and above.

Of those stranded, 6.4% or 1.1 million are in Mindanao; 5.3% or 1.8 million are in Balance Luzon; 5% or 710,100 are in Visayas; and 4.8% or 490,000 are in Metro Manila.

The survey further noted that 5% are stranded in enhanced community quarantine areas, and 5.9% are in general community quarantine areas.

Metro Manila and other regions were placed under ECQ mid-March as directed by the government to help control the spread of the virus in the country. This was eased to modified ECQ mid-May then to a more relaxed GCQ last June 1.

Due to the imposition of such health safety measures, many Filipinos were stranded in areas away from their homes since mass transportation got suspended as well. The varying levels of community quarantine nationwide further challenged them in their travel back home due to requirements needed to be able to cross borders.

Based on age groups, those 18-24 years old are mostly stranded accounting for 11.5%, followed by those at 25-34 years old (6.9%); 35-44 years old (4.2%); 45-54 years old (4.1%); 55 years old and above (3.2%); and 15-17 years old (2.7%).

The proportion of men stranded was also higher compared to women based on the survey.

The special SWS survey was conducted from May 4 -10 using mobile phone and computer-assisted telephone interviewing of 4,010 working Filipinos across the country; 294 are in the National Capital Region; 1,645 in Balance Luzon; 792 in Visayas; and 1,279 in Mindanao.