Tacloban, which is on the island of Leyte, is one of the largest cities in the region: over 250,000 people live here. As well as being an important port, it is an administrative, economic and cultural centre.
Before typhoon Haiyan hit the city in 2013, about 9% of the population lived in poverty. However, local experts believed the actual figure to be higher. The situation worsened after the typhoon greatly damaged the city.
Even now, many families struggle to escape the cycle of poverty.
Since 1970, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Tacloban.
In the Philippines, 24% of the population lives below the national poverty line. In order to escape poverty in rural areas, in the past decades many people moved to Tacloban in search of a better life. However, most ended up living in slum-like conditions, without proper sanitation and sewerage systems, electricity. There is a lack of access to healthcare and education.
These families were among the hardest hit by the typhoon that devastated Tacloban City in 2013. The disaster left over 6,000 people dead and those who survived were in dire need, struggling to find shelter, food and medicines. Children living in urban slums need extra support as they grow older.
While the overall unemployment rate in the Philippines is 2.5%, according to the latest Labor Force Survey data in 2021, the youth unemployment rate in the country was 13 %. The economy has been growing constantly, but job growth has not kept pace.
For young people without a university degree, finding work is particularly difficult. Only 20% of high school graduates find work within the first year of graduation while 75% of college graduates do the same.