MANILA - An estimated 4.1 million working-age Filipinos got stranded due to quarantines enforced because of the coronavirus pandemic across the country, a special survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.
This comes amid continuing reports of people stranded in key areas and employment hubs, including an ill mother who died after waiting for a bus for 5 days in Pasay City, and over a hundred passengers who spent nights at a center island near the Manila airport as they waited for flights to resume.
The survey, carried out from May 4 to 10 through mobile phone and computer-assisted interviews of 4,010 Filipinos 15 years old and above, showed that about 5.4 percent of Filipinos within the working age were stranded when lockdowns halted public transport and restricted movement.
More of those stranded were men, and most were 24 years old and below.
"This gives an estimated 4.1 million stranded based on the 2020 projected population of 75.8 million working-age persons," SWS said.
The remote survey posited the question: “Gusto po sana naming malaman ang lugar kung saan kayo kasalukuyang tumutuloy. Kayo po ba sa kasalukuyan ay... (Namamalagi sa lugar ng permanenteng tirahan, o Namamalagi sa ibang lugar dahil doon na inabutan ng Enhanced Community Quarantine o ECQ)? [We would like to know about your current location. Are you currently… (Staying in your place of permanent residence, or Staying in another place because of the Enhanced Community Quarantine or ECQ)?]”
The number of those who reported being stranded outside their place of residence was highest in Balance Luzon at 1.8 million, 1.1 million in Mindanao, 710,000 in the Visayas, and 490,000 in Metro Manila.
Among those stranded, 2 million had been caught in enhanced community quarantine areas, the strictest lockdown level, and 2.1 million were in general community Quarantine (GCQ) areas.
Of the total, 2.3 million were men, while 1.8 million were women.
By age, 11.5 percent or about 980,000 were 18 to 24, 6.9 percent or 1.2 million were 25 to 34, 4.2 percent or about 800,000 were 35 to 44, 4.1 percent or 570,000 were 45 to 54, 3.2 percent or 520,000 were 55 and up, and 2.7 percent or 20,000 were minors (15-17).
The survey has sampling error margins of ±2 percent for national percentages, ±6 percent for Metro Manila, ±2 percent for Balance Luzon, ±3 percent Visayas, and ±3 percent for Mindanao).