Kapamilya actress Liza Soberano once again took to social media to air her grievances against the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as cases continue to rise in the country.
The 23-year-old actress lamented the situation of Filipinos who cannot afford to be restricted at home. She cited that several individuals need to provide for themselves and their families in the wake of newly-implemented stricter quarantine measures.
“My heart bleeds for all the people who cannot afford not to go out and work. They literally have to choose between dying of starvation or dying of COVID-19. Is our country really this poor to (not) be able to provide stimulus?? Genuine question lang po,” she tweeted on Monday.
Soberano also shared how another country is providing aid to its people amid the pandemic.
“America has received 2 rounds of stimulus already, waiting on the 3rd. COVID-19 testing is free, vaccination is free. Where is the support for the poor in our country? Madali lang naman po mag-stay at home if everyone has food on the table and money to pay the bills,” she said.
The actress is half-American and has a family based in the United States, one of the hardest hit by the virus.
The government during the enhanced community quarantine, or the strictest of the quarantine phases, gave cash assistance to qualified beneficiaries through the social amelioration program to help them stay afloat amid stay-at-home orders.
The financial aid is no longer provided to Filipinos who live in areas that have been placed under general community quarantine. The Palace said that this is because people can still supposedly work under the newly-imposed setup.
This was also the case in May last year. The government said only those under ECQ are entitled to the cash aid.
“Malinaw po iyan. Doon sa unang buwan, lahat nang nasa ECQ, may ayuda. Sa pangalawang buwan, iyong mga lugar na nakatira lamang sa ECQ ang may ayuda. Wala na pong ayuda iyong mga nasa GCQ area,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a briefing on May 12.
Gov’t COVID-19 response
As Soberano aired similar concerns in her tweets, the actress earned support from some online Filipinos including Dr. Tony Leachon, former special adviser to the National Task Force Against COVID-19.
“Congratulations @lizasoberano—excellent thinking process. She gets the dynamics of controlling the coronavirus transmission! Smart young lady! #freetests #VaccinesSaveLives #AYUDA #economicstimulus,” he responded, particularly to her tweet about the US offering free COVID-19 testings, vaccines and financial aid.
The government has so far rolled out free COVID-19 vaccines from AstraZeneca and Sinovac but it has not yet immunized the general population as the mass vaccination drive only begun this month.
COVID-19 testing remains with charge, although President Rodrigo Duterte has raised the possibility of having free mass testing last December.
The Supreme Court in September last year junked the petition filed by the Citizens Urgent Response to End COVID-19 to conduct a “proactive” mass testing and ramp up contact tracing efforts.
The Philippines on Monday recorded its highest daily tally of new COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began with a total of 8,019 cases.
The same day also saw the beginning of the implementation of a stricter GCQ in the Greater Manila Area in a bid to reduce the transmission of the viral disease.