Robredo tells gov’t: ‘Give aid, don’t blame people for COVID-19 surge’

Published March 21, 2021, 11:15 AM

by Raymund Antonio

Vice President Leni Robredo appealed to the government to provide assistance to the country’s poor instead of blaming them for going out amid the coronavirus pandemic.


“If that person has the means to support his family, it will be easy to follow. But if the family has no food, even if the danger of contracting the virus is there, then the breadwinners will go out to work in order to feed their families without thinking that they could get infected,” Robredo said in Filipino over dzXL on Sunday, March 21.

In asking for assistance for the poor, the vice president suggested to look at how other countries are doing it. 

Though she did not mention it, she could have been referring to the United States government that provided last week a stimulus check worth $1,400 to individual taxpayers as a means to help them during the pandemic. 

Robredo lamented that government officials are again pointing to people’s stubbornness as the reason for the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. 

The last time the government provided financial assistance to low-income families was in April last year, though many said they have not received their share from their respective local government units. 

The vice president said it is easy for others to reprimand those going out, telling them to simply follow the rules. 

“Kasi madali lang sabihin na ‘sumunod na lang kasi kayo.’ Madali sabihin, halimbawa, kung ikaw nasa bahay kahit ‘di ka pumasok ay may kakainin ka, nanonood ka ng Netflix, naka-aircon ka pa siguro, (It is easy for others to say ‘just follow.’ It’s easy to say that, for example, if you can stay in the house without worrying about what to eat, you’re watching Netflix and probably has air-conditioning),” Robredo stressed.

“Pero sa ordinaryong Pilipino nakikipagbaka araw-araw kahit pa sabihin mong grabe iyong pandemic, kung walang kakainin ang pamilya, lalabas at lalabas (But for ordinary Filipinos living day-by-day, even amid the severity of the pandemic, if they have nothing to feed their families, they will go out to earn a living),” she added. 

Although reopening the economy slowly over the past months was necessary to help Filipinos get back on their feet, the government should still find a way to provide help. Robredo said this is the only way for Filipinos to heed the government’s health and safety protocols. 

On Saturday, the Philippines logged its highest COVID-19 positive cases at 7,999 since the outbreak in March 2020.