Gov’t failure to protect Filipinos from COVID scored

Published July 27, 2020, 4:28 PM

by Leslie Ann Aquino

The Church People-Workers Solidarity has denounced the Duterte administration’s failure to address the miserable condition of the Filipino people amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group said the administration particularly failed to protect the Filipino workers amid the coronavirus crisis.

It cited as an example the suspension of mass transportation.

“Many frontliners were made to walk for hours, even as they are already overworked and severely exposed to the disease due to the lack of manpower and provision of protective equipment,” CWS said.

It also lamented the administration’s lack of concrete and effective plan for mass testing, contact tracing, isolation, and treatment of COVID-19 infected persons half a year into the global health emergency.

“As a result, thousands of people including workers were infected and more are at risk of contracting the disease,” said CWS.

The government’s COVID-19 cash aid program for workers, the group said, only reached more than a million workers which means that majority of the Filipino workforce did not receive any financial aid from the government amid the Enhanced Community Quarantine when work was totally suspended.

CWS said due to this, millions of workers and their families experience hunger and poverty.

It added that workers displaced by the pandemic have no assurance that they would be able to receive separation pays from their employers and cash aid from the government.

For these reasons, the group called on the administration to provide universal healthcare to all, including free COVID-19 testing and treatment; provide immediate relief for workers affected by the pandemic, including unemployment pay and other financial assistance programs; and invest in industries that will generate sustainable long-term means of living for displaced workers among others.