With the pandemic pounding the country hard for more than a year now, one of the most affected is the household income of every Filipino family, affecting their financial health, wellbeing, or changes in day-to-day living.
In a recent Consumer Pulse study conducted by TransUnion, a global information and insights company found out that 93 percent of Filipinos have discovered that their household income was negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and that 65 percent of consumers said their household income is currently being negatively impacted by the pandemic.
The same survey, involving 865 adults, conducted from 5 to 22 March showed that 28 percent said they had been negatively impacted but not currently, while 49 percent imparted they expect that their household income will be negatively impacted by the pandemic in the future.
“Whether it’s their financial health, financial wellbeing, or changes in day-to-day living, the lives of millions of people in the Philippines and abroad have changed dramatically because of COVID-19.
“The Philippines, like many other countries, has had extended periods under lockdown, and we continue to manage the ongoing impact as the number of cases remains high. The aim of our regular Consumer Pulse research is to better understand the financial impacts of the pandemic and better inform consumers, businesses, and government decisions during these unprecedented times,” according to Pia Arellano, TransUnion Philippines President and CEO.
Those who claimed that their household income is currently negatively impacted, 45 percent said they or someone in their household had lost their jobs; 42 percent had their work hours reduced; and 24 percent said someone in their household owned a small business that closed or had orders that dried up, resulting to more challenging management of their household budgets.
The survey also revealed that of those whose income is currently negatively impacted, 88 percent said they are concerned about their ability to pay their current bills and loans in full, with 48 percent said they will not be able to pay their bills in less than four weeks.
Among those whose household income is currently decreased and has these bills and loans, 47 percent said they would be unable to pay their mortgage, 41 percent auto lease, 36 percent house/rental insurance and 35 percent credit card.
Also, 47 percent said they had to cut back on discretionary spending, while 31 percent decided to cancel or reduce digital services, among other budget changes.
Meanwhile, 48 percent said they had saved more in emergency funds; 26 percent had paid down their debt faster, and 19 percent had saved more for retirement.