Association of Medical Doctors of ASIA, founded in 1984, Consultative Status with UN ECOSOC since 1995








A campaign to support informal workers in the Philippines

Publication date:2021-10-27
On September 13, AMDA Philippines, in collaboration with the Philippine College of Occupational Medicine (PCOM) Makati Chapter, conducted a campaign entitled "Be the PCOM Hero" to show appreciation for informal workers who are key service providers involved in every facet of city life despite the COVID-19 outbreak. In this drive, the so-called "self-protection kits" and leaflets were distributed to informal workers passing through Makati City in Metro Manila.

What prompted this campaign is the health risks and economic conditions faced by informal workers and their families due to the novel coronavirus. Many of them work and live in crowded places with poor sanitation and no access to medical care. Because of the lockdown measures and economic disruptions, they are always at risk of falling into extreme poverty as they live on daily wages. When impoverished families have no job or income, they cannot survive because they cannot purchase food. Without a long-term job, it makes them hard to make ends meet.

In fact, informal workers who live under such circumstances make up a large part of the labor market in the Philippines. Expressing gratitude for their role as essential service providers, AMDA Philippines and PCOM Makati decided to treat the informal workers as their heroes by letting them know that they deserve care and will never be forgotten.

For the aid distribution part of the campaign, AMDA Philippines and PCOM Makati provided a set of hand sanitizer, face shield, 10 masks and a bottle of sports drink along with a flyer with information to raise awareness of infection prevention.

Aid distribution in practice

Calling out to informal workers passing by

The move was to support informal workers living in impoverished urban areas that generally lack knowledge pertaining to the viral infection, its symptoms, and precautionary measures (e.g. social distancing). As it is also difficult for them to secure personal protective equipment (not to mention with less chance of accessing clean washing facilities), it is hoped that the assistance will be of use to them in continuing their daily work.

Thanks to Ms. Portia Chan of the Barangay Poblacion Makati (Committee on Beautification and Social Order), the self-protection kits and flyers were handed to 125 informal workers passing by Maria Aurora Street in the area.

The informal workers targeted this time were as follows:
1. Makati Riders (motorbike riders by profession who are requested by Makati City to deliver regular medication to patients under the care of the city health center or to deliver supplies and food to patients with the COVID-19 infection)
2. Taxi drivers
3. Tricycle drivers
4. Food stall owners
5. Fast-food delivery staff
6. Street and park cleaners

A Makati Rider who received the aid commented, "The self-protection kit is very useful and helpful. Thank you," while an owner of a fruit stall said, "Thank you. The work we are doing is important and we feel appreciated."

Ms. Chan who rendered support to the campaign expressed her eagerness to work for the good cause by saying, "Let's overcome the difficulties of the COVID-19 crisis together. We are happy to work with private organizations like PCOM and AMDA.”


A tricycle driver showing the items he received

The “Makati Riders”

"Informal workers of our society, from domestic workers to food delivery riders to street vendors and waste pickers, are especially vulnerable now as the coronavirus pandemic is forcing many of them to choose between their health and their livelihoods. In countries with restrictive lockdowns such as the Philippines, the pandemic meant 'no work, no income, and no food' in quick implementation," AMDA Philippines chairperson Dr. Ryan Elrey Navarro commented on the activities.

"AMDA Philippines and other private organizations like PCOM provided some relief and recognized the need for them to be protected as well. COVID-19 has shown clearly that informal workers - those engaged in food service, health care, childcare, transportation, and more - are truly essential and deserve our care," he added.

The campaign was supported by Otsuka Solar Philippines, Inc. and Unilab Pharmaceuticals UAP Division.


    •  Primary Health Care & Promotion of Health Awareness (Promotion of Health)
    •  Philippines
    •  2021
    •  ER & Reconstruction
    •  COVID-19