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ILO: Service sector severely affected by typhoon Haiyan

Half of the workers affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan were working in the service sector, said the International Labour Organization (ILO).

News | 28 November 2013
Typhoon Haiyan:
Affected workers by sectors
MANILA (ILO News) – According to the latest ILO estimates, 2.8 million out of the 5.6 million workers who have either temporarily or permanently lost their livelihoods were working in the service sector. Over one third, or 1.8 million, were in agriculture and around 15 per cent in the industry sector.

“Service sector includes people working in shops, public markets, restaurants, vendors, tricycle and jeepney drivers, mechanics, clerks, teachers,… who, like farmers and fisherfolks, have seen their source of income wiped away,” said ILO Philippine Office Director Lawrence Jeff Johnson.

“At least 2.4 million affected workers were already in a vulnerable situation before the typhoon struck, often living at or near the poverty line, doing whatever work they could find to survive and provide for their families. These people have lost the little they had to begin with. They have no home, no income, no savings and no one to turn to for help,” said Director Johnson.

“As the reconstruction efforts gather pace, the number one priority is to ensure that these workers have access to decent jobs, which include at least minimum wage, social protection and safe working conditions,” Johnson said.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are rolling out emergency employment programmes to respond to the enormous reconstruction and livelihoods needs. The ILO is working closely with them and as well as with local governments, business’ and workers’ organizations and international partners.

“These programmes comply with Philippine regulation and international labour standards, ensuring that people are not exploited while they help to rebuild their communities and local economies,” Johnson explains.

Workers under the emergency employment programmes receive the minimum wage prevailing in the area and are employed for a minimum of 15 days. They also have access to social protection benefits.

“This is a very first step to jump start the economy and quickly put the affected communities back in the driver’s seat in rebuilding their lives. Ensuring minimum wage and social protection will help stimulate economic growth and speed the recovery process.” Johnson said.

Typhoon Haiyan (also known as Yolanda) swept through the Philippines on 8 November killing more than five thousand people, destroying more than one million houses and affecting the lives of more than 14 million people.

For more information on ILO's response to Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), please contact:
Minette Rimando - Communication officer at