DOI :10.26650/B/SS49.2021.006.14   IUP :10.26650/B/SS49.2021.006.14    Full Text (PDF)

Pandemic and Social Vulnerability: The Case of the Philippines

Ericson Peñalba

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has created compounding challenges, disproportionately affecting the disadvantaged sectors of the society and heightening their risk of social vulnerability. In the Philippines, children, women, the elderly, persons with disabilities, and low-income families have faced stressors associated with vulnerabilities and are further triggered by the crisis amid the implementation of stringent quarantine measures. By adapting the socioecological framework, this work describes the pandemic’s impact on vulnerable populations in the country. It explores how the factors affecting the vulnerability of the identified social groups are situated within the five levels, namely microsystem, exosystem, mesosystem, macrosystem, and chronosystem. In doing so, it examines how the risks they encounter are anchored in a dynamic social context that considers their immediate environment, social interactions, culture, macro-level societal influences, and significant life transitions. In each system, it is apparent that vulnerable individuals have to deal with different stressors that are likely to threaten their health, safety, and well-being. The problems encountered by these individuals are further aggravated by the occurrence of natural disasters, armed conflicts, and animal disease outbreaks alongside the pandemic crisis. It is worth noting that various local and international actors have carried out crisis response efforts to respond to vulnerable populations’ needs. However, the extent to which such measures can help build their resilience amid the pandemic remains unclear.



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