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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

NEDA, DOF, World Bank and Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade partner for surveys

Impact of COVID-19 on Filipino households launched

MANILA – The National Economic and Development Authority and the Department of Financed partnered with the World Bank to undertake surveys about the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Filipino households.

In a press briefing early Thursday afternoon, World Bank Portfolio Manager for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand Achim Fock said the surveys will provide critical information to support the government’s policymaking decisions in response to the precarious effects of the pandemic.

In his remarks. Mr. Fock said the project which is supported by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the World Bank, NEDA and the Department of Finance will begin with the first of a series of household surveys being an integral part of its high-frequency monitoring system to provide rapid and frequent updates on the states of employment, education, health, as well as other key areas of social protection in the Philippines.

“The system will allow the government to assess the social-economic impacts of the pandemic over time, respond with timely interventions, and expand its evidence base for making decisions that will protect the health and livelihoods of families. The household survey will be implemented through a variety of modes, telephone interviews and online forms,” Mr. Fock said.

NEDA Undersecretary Rosemarie G. Edillon said the COVID-19 pandemic was the first time when community quarantine was implemented.

“One of the effective strategies to reduce uncertainty is to obtain accurate and timely information. And this is where high frequency surveys will be of most use,” she said in her remarks at the launch program.

She added in early April, the Inter-agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases created a Technical Working Group on Anticipatory and Forward Planning and was chaired by NEDA.

“NEDA was directed to provide recommendations to address the loss of consumer and business confidence,” she explained.

Undersecretary Edillon said one of the methodologies that they used that time was the conduct of three online surveys and some other online consultations. She said this helped them understand the experiences of households, businesses, farmers and fisher folks.

“Information from the survey served as inputs in the now proposed Bayanihan to Recover as One. And most other information are being used to the updating of the Philippine Development Plan,” she added.

The survey will receive responses beginning today until August 6,2020. Phone and online surveys will also run by World Bank across more than 100 countries in all developing regions to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on households.

He underscored World Bank’s mission is to reduce poverty and promote shared prosperity. However, he added COVID-19 made it a challenge not only for the Philippines but for all countries worldwide.

“We are committed to supporting the Philippines in mitigating the outsized impacts of the poor and vulnerable,” he said.

Forward-looking, Mr. Fock said when the surveys are completed, it will produce important outputs including a monitoring dashboard where all data gathered from different surveys among households and firms can be accessed by the public through an online portal, regular monitoring reports, and policy notes to help inform the country’s COVID-19 response.

NEDA Undersecretary Rosemari G. Edillon (left) and World Bank Portfolio Manager for Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand Achim Fock at the launch of the first of a series of surveys on the impact of COVID-19 on Filipino households. (Screen grab from NEDA-World Bank Press Briefing)

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