How to Handle Loss of Income During the Covid-19 Pandemic

work-at-home-during-pandemic

The Covid-19 pandemic has turned people’s financial lives upside down.

Thousands are unemployed or have seen their income significantly reduced. Several businesses, especially hotels and restaurants, have reduced employees’ salaries and ordered most of their staff to go on leave, in many instances, without pay.

Some have gone as far as terminating contracts of their staff due to the uncertainty brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

My sister and her boyfriend, who work in one of the top hotels in the country, were among those who have been furloughed due to the pandemic.

My other sister-in-law, who works in a hospital abroad, has also been affected when her pay was cut by 25%.

The losses of jobs and income and restrictions on business operations all result in effects on personal finance forcing people to adjust their money habits and lifestyles.

If you’ve found yourself unemployed, or no income due to being furloughed or even a reduction in pay, there are several things you can do to cut expenses and bring in income to still pay your bills.

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Take advantage of government benefits

Here are several government programs to aid workers and businesses during the pandemic. (Source)

1. COVID-19 adjustment measures program (CAMP)

  • ₱5,000 will be given as one-time assistance to regular or contractual employees working in the companies that have temporarily closed or have imposed flexible work arrangements (e.g., reduction of work hours, forced leaves, rotation of workers)
  • Click here for more info.

2. Small business wage subsidy (SBWS)

  • Beneficiaries may receive ₱5,000 to ₱8,000 for 2 months, based on the minimum wage of the region where they reside.
  • These beneficiaries only cover workers who are part of a business not belonging to Large Taxpayer Service (LTS) based on the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s list, and who have not received salary for two weeks or more due to the lockdown
  • Read my post about SBWS Program or click here for more info.

3. Unemployment benefits

  • Members paying SSS contribution for 36 months or more who lost their jobs or livelihood due to COVID-19 may receive unemployment benefits ranging from ₱11,000 to ₱20,000
  • Click here for more info.

4. Emergency loan for Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) members

  • Members and pensioners of GSIS may avail of a ₱20,000-loan payable in 3 years and at 6% interest per year.
  • Click here for more info.

5. Pag-Ibig fund calamity loan

  • Members may apply if they:
    • Have a fund of total savings equivalent to 24 months
    • Have deposited one or more monthly savings in the last 6 months before the loan application
    • Are able to pay all payables of all PAG-IBIG loans
    • Are a resident of a place declared under a state of calamity
  • Click here for more info.

6. Tulong panghanapbuhay sa ating displaced at disadvantaged workers #BarangayKoBahayKo Disinfection at Sanitation Project (TUPAD #BKBK)

  • 40 hours of work (4 hours per day for 10 days maximum) for qualified beneficiaries which include the underemployed, self-employed workers, and displaced marginalized workers who lost their livelihood or whose earnings were affected by the lockdown.
  • The nature of work under this program is the disinfection or sanitation of houses/dwellings and immediate civinity of houses
  • TUPAD beneficiaries will be fully compensated in about the same rate of the highest minimum wage in the region
  • Click here for more info.

7. Financial assistance for displaced land-based and sea-based OFWs (AKAP)

  • Financial assistance will be given to overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who lost jobs due to the lockdown or community quarantine of their host country, or due to positive COVID-19 test results
    • They should be in a jobsite overseas or in the Philippines as a balik-manggagawa (returning worker) to receive the assistance. No assistance will be given to those who have already received subsidy from the host country or from employers.
  • Beneficiaries will receive $200 or ₱10,000 or equivalent local currency from corresponding country of employment

  • Click here for more info.

Sources: Briefer on Government Programs for Micro EntrepreneursBriefer on Government Loan Assistance and Financing Options for Microfinance Institutions (MFIs), Rappler

how-to-make-money-from-home-during-pandemic

Search for a Job or Start a Business

You can’t live on severance pay or government benefits for long, especially if you have a family to take care of.

Here are some of the things you can do to earn an income after being furloughed or laid off from your job.

1. Become a Freelancer

A part-time job may help you make ends meet while you search for a permanent gig.

Check out Upwork.com, Freelancer.com, and OnlineJobs.ph to find opportunities that match your skill set.

You may find jobs related to customer services, data entry, health-care and medical support, teaching and tutoring, and bookkeeping.

Other types of jobs available that may tap into your creative side are digital marketers, writer and copy editors, graphic designers, and social media managers.

If you don’t know where to start, you may invest in yourself first by enrolling in a course that will help you develop or hone your skills so you could offer it effectively to your prospective clients.

2. Start a Blog or YouTube Channel

Creating a blog or YouTube Channel that makes money definitely isn’t a short-term fix, but it could provide income over the long-term if you’re dedicated and willing to learn how it works.

I started this Pinay Investor blog and YouTube channel in 2014, but because I didn’t know how it works and how to monetize it, I only started earning revenues three years later. And I’m continuously learning…

If you have a skill or hobby that you think would help or entertain others, share it on your blog or YouTube channel and monetize it through ads, affiliate marketing, or by offering your own products or services.

3. Sell Something

If you’re into arts and crafts, you could turn that hobby into an additional income. You can make your own jewellery and sell it online, or you can conduct workshops or webinars online.

If you love baking, you could offer it to your friends, neighbors, or sell it on Facebook or Instagram.

This is what my sister is doing right now and her income helps pay some of her bills.

job-loss-during-pandemic

Take a look at your budget

Sitting down and taking a look at your expenses can help you determine where you are right now in terms of your budget and where else you can cut.

That may mean putting some bills off.

Many banks and utility companies are offering us a bit of relief during the ECQ/MECQ/GCQ through payment extension. In most cases, this means not charging interest or penalties on bills that are not paid by their due dates.

Reach out to them to see about delaying payments and work out a plan to repay the missed payments.

help-support-others-during-pandemic

Seek help and Help others out

While you may be embarrassed to ask for help, don’t be. If this is what you need to do, do it.

Seek financial help from your family, friends, or previous employers. You don’t need to tell them everything you’re going through, just let them know you need help.

You can also turn your bad situation into something positive by supporting others with your time and energy.

Think about how you can build your social currency by doing something to help others out during this time.

You can support small businesses on social media by buying their products or by helping them promote their products or services to your circle of friends and family.

They’ll appreciate you for doing that and they might also be able to help you out in other ways.

Watch my video here:

Final Thoughts

No one really knows how long it’ll be until our lives return to normal, and that means the unemployment rate may very well get worse before it gets better.

But don’t despair yet.

We, Filipinos, are known for being creative and resourceful. We can use this time to our advantage.

Consider the tips mentioned above, come up with a game plan, and get back out there.

We’ll come out of this pandemic stronger if we decide to rise to the challenge.

We can do this and we’ll get through this.

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1 Response

  1. September 17, 2020

    […] READ: List of Financial Assistance Programs During Covid-19 Pandemic […]

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