The International Labour Organization (ILO) said Friday that about 2.2 million workers were directly affected by typhoon Odetete (international name: Rai), the strongest storm to hit the country last year.

“Although the typhoon hit parts of 10 regions, the impact on employment varied,” the ILO said in a statement, after conducting a rapid assessment.

Among the hardest hit regions were the Western Visayas with 672,000 affected workers, the Eastern Visayas with 343,000 and the Central Visayas with 643,000, the labor organization said.

It added that nearly one-third of the entire workforce in Caraga region in the southern Philippines “was impacted.”

The ILO said almost 38% of the total affected workers are women, noting that about three in five of them were in low-paid jobs like agriculture, wholesale and retail trade or domestic work, prior to the typhoon.

The ILO said young people and older workers were also among those significantly affected by the typhoon, which killed hundreds.

“It is heart-breaking to see how Typhoon Odette has affected already vulnerable workers with limited capacity to earn, less income security, and lack of social protection,” said Hideki Kagohashi, Enterprise Development Specialist of the ILO Country Office for the Philippines.

“A human-centered recovery is vital, one which places decent work and sustainable livelihoods at the heart of efforts to build back better,” he added. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza