Mass recruit, mobilize health workers, not police, military – Pamalakaya
Manila, Philippines — Reacting to the press conference of President Rodrigo Duterte yesterday, which officially announced the lockdown of the entire Metro Manila as a preventive measure to the spread of COVID-19, the national fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) lambasted the ‘purely militaristic approach in addressing the health emergency crisis.’
“Instead of focusing on the efficient management of infected patients and on how to mobilize and strengthen the capacity of our health workers, Duterte retorts to deployment of troops. Military and police have nothing to do with the prevention of the virus, rather, it amplifies tension and affect the livelihood of poor sectors, economy and even supply of food and other basic necessities,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement on Friday.
He slammed that while the government is discouraging public panic, particularly panic buying, its lockdown resolution is worse, and on the opposite of calming the people.
Hicap, former Anakpawis Party-list solon slated that ‘Duterte did not even present a comprehensive solution on how to cure the patients already positive with the virus, and those that are still under investigation.”
“Not even a concrete solution on how ordinary Filipinos, most especially the poor, could enhance their resistance to avoid the deadly virus, was presented,” said Hicap.
It is reported that the country has more than double of the global 3.6% mortality rate, at 9.6%.
“We blame this trend on Duterte’s wrong priority, such as the P10 billion budget cut on health and framework of privatized health sector. And we should take note that the DOH and the government failed to dig up on local transmission cases and prevent it from worsening to community transmission. Amid billions of pesos alloted to discretionary and intelligence funds, Duterte failed to contain the virus,” he blasted.
The fisherfolk leader claimed that the ‘Filipinos don’t need the military and police, but an effective and accessible health care services that would ensure the health safety of every Filipinos, especially the vulnerable sectors.’
“This government should double, triple or quadruple the capacity of public hospitals, set up quarantine centers, mass recruit and deploy health workers to communities, and assure social protection to would-be patients from ‘isang kahig, isang tuka’ sectors to encourage them to seek medical help and break out from the anxiety of loss of income and livelihood,” he ended. ###