The Aeta, the oldest indigenous people of the Philippines, remain socioeconomically disadvantaged due to social discrimination, economic instability, and widespread health disparities. Encroachment upon ancestral territory segregates and marginalizes Aeta communities, while high rates of malnutrition and parasitism run rampant. Futhermore, a lack of economic resources feeds a cycle of poverty that further exacerbates medical conditions in these communities.
It is unclear how the current COVID-19 pandemic might affect the Aeta population. However, past pandemics have disproportionately harmed indigenous communities more so than their non-indigenous counterparts. In the case of the Aeta, it is almost certain that this trend will continue. The current lack of data demands that more research be done to address the long-term social and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Aeta tribe.