The global pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected millions worldwide. Presently in the Philippines, there are more than 250,000 cases, with more than 58,000 active cases, and 4,000 dead.1 The government responded to the crisis using public health measures including travel restrictions, strict community quarantine protocols, work suspension, and promotion of proper hygiene and strong immune system.2 Metro Manila is the centre of COVID-19 crisis in the Philippines. At least 54% of the total number of cases in the country is found in Metro Manila. The protracted quarantine measures resulted to severe consequences for urban poor communities. This includes economic displacement particularly for daily wage earners and workers in the informal sector, limited access to basic services, and issues with safety and security. Restrictions were also met with difficulties as urban settlements are often densely packed, overcrowded, and often lacking basic facilities, thereby increasing the risk to spread infection.
The COVID-19 Philippines Inter-Agency Rapid Gender Assessment (RGA), of which the NCR RGA is a part, was conducted to document stories of women, men, and other vulnerable sectors from urban poor communities in Metro Manila. It is a collaborative study aimed at identifying the different needs, risks, capacities, and coping strategies of women, men, girls, and boys in the COVID-19 crisis. The research design was developed by GBV Sub-cluster member agencies UNFPA, Plan, CARE, and Oxfam.
The NCR Rapid Gender Analysis was conducted from 15 April- 27 May 2020 in six cities in Metro Manila. A total of 145 participants from multiple sectors form part of the study. Semi-structured phone interviews were used as the primary data collection method to ensure the safety of both partner organisations and participants.
The NCR RGA is structured to surface stories according to eight (8) key areas of inquiry: 1) Gender Roles and Responsibilities, 2) Access to Basic Services, 3) Impact of Interventions, 4) Access to Information and Technology, 5) Coping Strategies and Capacities, 6) Addressing Social Stigma, 7) Protection and SRHR Issues, and 8) Leadership and Participation.
The NCR RGA is an inter-agency initiative coordinated by CARE, with participating INGOs Oxfam Pilipinas,
Plan International, Asmae; local organizations ACCORD Inc., ChildHope, Kanlungan sa Er-ma Ministry Inc.; and individual volunteers from DFAT.