The latest IATF resolution released on Sunday lacks at least six policies that are crucial to addressing a worsening pandemic, especially when you are implementing a lockdown.
“Time and again, we have reminded authorities that neither the pandemic nor their grave ignorance of the law or dumb over-zealousness is an excuse to trample upon basic rights and curtail freedoms.” — NUPL
Instead of addressing homelessness, the Philippine government has recently lifted its earlier memorandum, ordering the postponement of demolition and eviction of poor communities.
While the Duterte administration has implemented a two-week stricter lockdown, other legitimate demands raised by medical experts have been largely ignored. It must be pointed out that many of the recommendations have been articulated by several health NGOs since day 1 but, unfortunately, these have fallen on deaf ears.
“We don’t want aid, what we need is to get our livelihood back. What can we get from the government’s aid? A few kilos of rice and cans of sardines? Those aren’t even enough to feed our family for a day. Our request is to get our livelihood back, we’re not expecting the government to help us, so can they at least allow us to help ourselves?”
With billions of pesos at its disposal, from the nation’s coffers and from loans incurred in our name, this government still failed to institute even the minimum standards for COVID-19 response. Of the P380-billion COVID-19 budget under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act, it has spent P12.32 billion for health or merely 3.2 percent of the total COVID-19 allocation.
While it is true that ordinary citizens are expected to maintain civility, speaking out should not be criminalized. We are being punished for demanding from government what it should have been doing in the midst of a health crisis.
The proclamation of the state of health emergency was hijacked by the government to dismantle people’s solidarities and put in place dictatorial rule that wiped out human, civil and political rights. Thus grotesquely rises, in the quasi-hobbesian sense, an all absorbing Leviathan.
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“The case numbers they are presenting is not accurate. How can you tell if the number of cases did not double today if the test result will come out in at least two weeks?”
“Who will provide quality healthcare to our patients if our healthcare providers become patients too. The government must immediately distribute PPE to ensure and protect health workers, hire and train more additional permanent health workers, and increase the public hospital budget.”