While they understand the urgency to address the COVID-19 pandemic, their hearts go to thousands of Filipinos relying on services only the likes of a government tertiary hospital can provide.
“The people are getting hungry. The answer to their fervent wish is simple. And yet they were violently dispersed and arrested all because this gathering is prohibited?”
Most of the breadwinners in their village earn a living either as construction workers or market vendors.
“One who has spent his life teaching. One who never got tired to impart knowledge and wisdom. One who made you sweat as he bombards you with questions but would suddenly make you feel at ease as he breaks into a smile.”
The lack of basic social services accessible to the poorest of the poor remains as the biggest stumbling block for health workers who wish to finally flatten the curve of the pandemic.
Amid the calls to “stay at home” and “work at home,” an urban poor group said thousands of Filipinos do not have roofs over their heads in the first place.
“The community quarantine or lockdown over Metro Manila spells forced hunger to millions of low-income workers who cannot afford to skip a day despite the current COVID-19 pandemic.”
From 2016 to 2019 alone, the public health program’s total budget allocation has been reduced significantly, varying from 15-percent to 28-percent cut.
For one, the budget for Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, the lead public hospital in the government’s effort to address the looming outbreak, has been slashed from P263 million in 2019 to P115 million in 2020.
Under President Duterte’s first year in office, the reported rape cases has also increased by 53 percent compared to its 6,480 annual average in the past decade.
Gender disparity in wages remains to this day, which ranges from four to 25 percent. The CWR cited “implicit biases” continue as capitalists discriminate women’s work as “just add-on to the entire household earnings.”
In an earlier statement, the Nona del Rosario Command of the New People’s Army (NPA) said that the victim was only 15 years old when she was first raped in November 2018. She was raped again in March 2019 after the same soldier “tried to befriend her.”