Written by Partido Lakas ng Masa
According to the latest reports at least 30 people, mostly children belonging to a Palawan tribe, died in what health authorities suspect to be an outbreak of cholera due to contaminated water. At least seven out of every ten dead were children under five years of age. The tribal community struck by suspected cholera live in Bataraza town.
“We were told that the conditional cash transfer (CCT) program would reach out to communities such as these, and provide households cash and other services for health and nutritional expenses. Palawan is also supposed to be one of the 20 poorest provinces in the country where the CCT program is being implemented. In fact the province has been described as a Set 2 beneficiary area, where the CCT program was started in April 2009 under the Arroyo administration and has been continued until 2014 under the government of President Noynoy Aquino. It was supposed to address poverty and improve the health of precisely these types of poor and marginalized communities. If the CCT was really effective, why should such disasters happen?” Emma Garcia, spokesperson for PLM-Women queried?
“We want some clarification on this from the DSWD Secretary Dinky Solliman and other agencies concerned with the implementation of the CCT program. Was the CCT program implemented in these areas affected by the cholera? If not, why not? If so, what are the results? Why wasn’t this epidemic prevented?”
“We organized a women’s picket outside the Department of Health on Friday April 08 and PLM-Women are prepared to continue these women’s pickets outside the DSWD and other relevant agencies until their questions are answered.”
That children are dying due to preventable ailments such as diarrhea is an outrage that’s happening in 21st century Philippines. And the fact is that this is not an isolated incident. According to UNICEF Philippines, the UN organization mandated to work for children’s rights, diarrhea is a leading cause of under-five deaths in the country, responsible for almost 10,000 deaths per year.
“We call on the government of President Aquino for action, not mere words and sweet talk. Increase the health care budget now, establish a system of universal health care, and push for the immediate passage of the RH Bill which will save mothers and childrens lives”, Emma Garcia said.
Partido Lakas ng Masa — Women
- [In Facebook] Save Children’s Lives! Palawan Children Dying of Diarrhea is a form of Child Abuse!- PLM (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [In the news] Dirty water blamed for Palawan deaths | ABS-CBN News | Latest Philippine Headlines, Breaking News, Video, Analysis, Features (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [In the news] Ballooning population blamed for hunger | The Philippine Star News Headlines (hronlineph.wordpress.com)
- [in Facebook] PLM Supports PALEA’s Planned Strike – Partido Lakas ng Masa (hronlineph.wordpress.com)