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Local Roundup: Garment trade takes a beating

  • Garment trade takes a beating
  • Inbound travel
The Philippines' garment industry has taken a big hit from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, cutting exports by almost 40 percent and putting the livelihoods of over 600,000 Filipinos "at-risk," the International Labor Organization (ILO) said Thursday.

“In the Philippines, exports were cut by almost 40 percent to major buyer countries "putting the livelihoods and employment of more than 600,000 workers at risk," ILO said in the study titled "Supply chain ripple effect: How COVID-19 is affecting garment workers and factories in Asia and the Pacific."

The research highlights that major buying countries’ imports from garment-exporting countries in Asia dropped by up to 70 percent in the first half of 2020, due to collapsing consumer demand, government lockdown measures, and disruptions to raw material imports necessary for garment production.

Based on latest ILO data, the Asia-Pacific employs an estimated 65 million garment sector workers in 2019, accounting for 75 percent of all garment workers worldwide. 

COVID updates

The Philippines logged on Thursday 1,664 new coronavirus disease cases, bringing the total to 363,888, the Department of Health reported.

This marked the sixth consecutive day where less than 3,000 cases were recorded.

The DOH likewise announced 843 recoveries, bringing the total to 312,333.

Inbound travel

The OCTA Research Group on Thursday suggested the government defer allowing inbound travel to the Philippines and let the COVID-19 situation improve further for now.

After allowing non-essential outbound travel of Filipinos, the government's COVID-19 task force is looking into the possibility of allowing inbound travel to the Philippines.

The researchers earlier said that the country's COVID-19 reproduction number was on a downward trend.

Departing tourists

The number of departing Filipino tourists remain low despite the lifting of departure restrictions and allowing non-essential outbound travel, according to the Bureau of Immigration.

According to data, as of October 22, only 95 Filipinos left under a tourist visa, out of the total 1,172 Filipinos who departed.

Currently, only Filipinos, their spouse and minor children are allowed to enter the country holding tourist visas. Restrictions likewise allow foreign children with special needs of Filipinos, foreign parent of minor Filipinos, and foreign parent of Filipino children with special needs to enter the country.

Informal sector workers

Meanwhile, around 900 informal sector workers who were displaced due to the pandemic are set to benefit from the initial rollout of the “free bicycles project” of the Department of Labor and Employment.

“We will be giving free bicycles, which is called ‘free bisikleta (bicycles) project’ since many of us are patronizing online delivery services. This is the reason for the concept of the project,” Ma.

Karen Trayvilla, director of the DOLE Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns, said in a Laging Handa briefing on Thursday.

Under the program, beneficiaries would be tapped as riders providing food and non-food delivery services.

Topics: coronavirus disease , garment industry , International Labor Organization , Department of Health
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