Tag Archives: COVID19ph

[Press Release] Teachers laud DEPED Region 7 for ‘Academic Health Break’ | TDC

Teachers laud DEPED Region 7 for ‘Academic Health Break’

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition-Central Visayas (TDC-CV) lauded the DepEd Regional Office 7 for issuing Regional Memorandum No. 0052, s. 2022 this afternoon. Said memorandum signed by Dr. Salustiano Jimenez, DepEd Regional Director in Central Visayas declared a suspension of classes in areas under alert level 3 within the region from January 24 to 31, 2022.

“With the alarming spike in COVID-19 cases in Region VII and the wide extent of devastation left behind by Typhoon Odette last December, this is just a logical and necessary action,” said Cebu City teacher Raul Constantino, the president of the TDC’s regional chapter.

The TDC earlier called for an academic health break for the entire DepEd system and on January 12, DepEd Central Office released a memorandum allowing class suspensions according to the discretion of the DepEd field officials. After which, several regional and division offices as well as some LGUs ordered their own versions of the class suspension.

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[Statement] On the order for barangays to submit list of unvaccinated residents | CHR spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia

Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the order for barangays to submit list of unvaccinated residents

The Commission on Human Rights continues to remind the government that upholding human rights remains to be an important consideration in crafting and implementing policies addressing the pandemic. With the recent directive of the Department of the Interior and Local Government for barangays to submit a list of unvaccinated individuals in their communities, we hope that this does not result in the breach of the right to privacy of individuals and, more importantly, not restrict the unvaccinated from accessing essential good and services. We cannot use the present pandemic as a justification to set aside pertinent laws and human rights standards meant to protect human rights and dignity in all situations and at all times.

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[Statement] Reaksiyon ng TDC sa tugon ng DEPED Central sa hinihinging academic health break

STATEMENT
January 14, 2022

Reaksiyon ng TDC sa tugon ng DEPED Central sa hinihingi nating academic health break

Ang naging tugon ng DepEd ay hindi kasinglinaw ng atin sanang inaasahan. Ni hindi nga nila ito tinawag na academic break, health break o academic health break. Kaya hindi pa rin ito masasabing ganap na tagumpay sapagkat sa halip na desisyunan ng Central Office, partikular ng Kalihim Leonor Briones, ipinaubaya nila sa field officials, mga schools division superintendents (SDS) at Regional Directors (RD) ang determinasyon ng hinihinging break sa kani-kanilang nasasakupan. Ang resulta, maaaring magkaiba-iba ang petsa, maging ang bilang ng araw ng break na ito sa bawat dibisyon o rehiyon. Maaari rin namang walang break sa iba.

Hindi rin Memorandum o Order mula sa Office of the Secretary ang inilabas kundi memorandum mula sa Office of Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instructions at pirmado ni Usec Diosdado San Antonio.

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[Statement] Teachers call for academic health break | TDC

Teachers call for academic health break

Field offices of the Department of Education (DepEd) are now intensifying the physical reporting of teaching personnel despite the fact that there are no essential tasks to be done in schools. This is a clear violation of DepEd’s own rule that says work-from-home (WFH) is the default set-up for classroom teachers. At the time of this writing, these DepEd offices are imposing physical reporting, while the country is experiencing record high COVID-19 infection.

At a time when these leaders should be focusing on the psychosocial well-being of teachers and students, it appears that to some offices, “normalcy of operation” outweighs the well-being, even the very lives of Filipinos. It is incomprehensible how oblivious DepEd officials can be of the danger of their choices.

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[From the web] Amid the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, Teachers asked DEPED to retain their work from home status | TDC

Amid the resurgence of COVID-19 cases, Teachers asked DEPED to retain their work from home status

Amid the rising cases of COVID-19 especially in Metro Manila, the Teachers ’Dignity Coalition (TDC) has asked the Department of Education (DepEd) leadership to publicly declare that the agency is compliant with its own policy on alternative work arrangements for public school teachers. In a series of Facebook posts this morning, TDC Chairperson called the attention of DepEd officials to reiterate the alternative work arrangement of public school teachers.

“Yung ilang schools/SDOs sa Reg 3 & Reg 4A na nagpapasok sa teachers physically, relax, ‘wag niyo na dagdagan ang exposure ng tao para hindi matulad dito sa NCR. Remote modalities ang teaching, remember?” Basas posted referring to some schools in Central Luzon and CALABARZON requiring the physical presence of their teachers despite the remote teaching modalities employed by DepEd.

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[Tula] Pakikiisa sa laban ng health workers | ni Greg Bituin Jr.

PAKIKIISA SA LABAN NG HEALTH WORKERS

sa mga health workers kami’y sadyang nakikiisa
sa isyu nila, sampu ng aking mga kasama
upang itaguyod ang mga kapakanan nila
at kami’y sasama sa kanilang kilos-protesta

ipakita ang matagal na nilang mga hinaing
na ibigay na ang benepisyo nila, gayundin
ang hazard pay nila, allowance para sa pagkain
tirahan, transportasyon, special risk allowance din

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[From the web] Lessons Unlearned: Fight for Inclusive Education Carries into Second Year of Remote Learning | by Isaiah Castro/ PhilRights.org

#HumanRights #Education

Lessons Unlearned: Fight for Inclusive Education Carries into Second Year of Remote Learning
by Isaiah Castro

“It makes me anxious,” John Carlou, 20, confesses when asked how he feels about remote learning. “Since it started, I have been struggling financially, mentally, and emotionally. Also, learning at home does not work well for me because I keep doubting myself.”

The eldest among four children, John Carlou resides in the rural Daanbantayan town in northernmost Cebu. An incoming third-year student of political science at the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu, he admits that he feels “alienated” and is still adjusting to the virtual set-up. He worries about his performance, especially during the heavily stressful final exams, which reflects on the grades he received last semester.

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[Statement] on the shooting of a curfew violator with mental illness by a barangay tanod | CHR spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia

#HumanRights #COVID19ph

Statement of CHR spokesperson, Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the shooting of a curfew violator with mental illness by a barangay tanod

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) is now probing the reported shooting of Eduardo Geñoga, a 59-year-old curfew violator with mental illness, by Cesar Panlaqui, a barangay tanod. The shooting happened in Tondo, Manila on 7 August 2021, the second day of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila.

According to reports, Panlaqui accosted Geñoga for allegedly slamming doors and gates in Tayuman Street during curfew hours. The victim allegedly approached the barangay tanod with a stick, which prompted the suspect to shoot the victim in the chest resulting to the latter’s death.

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[People] The Scourge of Covid-19 and Malaria Rages On | Fr. Shay Cullen

#HumanRights #Covid19ph

The Scourge of Covid-19 and Malaria Rages On
Fr. Shay Cullen

The horrific scenes in Brazil and India show people dying in the streets from the lack of preparation by government for the protection of its citizens against the surge of Covid-19. They failed to impose control of mass gatherings and election rallies and now they reap the tragic results- a massive wave of infections. In India, 314,835 infections were recorded and as many 3,000 died in one day and every day. It still rages on.

The government has failed to provide oxygen to the hospitals and see that there are enough beds in response to a catastrophic calamity. Television shows people dying at the gates of the hospitals. The hospital wards are crowded with relatives, for sure they will be infected and many will soon follow their relatives to the grave. There is no way to save them with the lack of medicines and oxygen. The vicious virus attacks the lungs and racks the body with fever. It is a terrible disease and hundreds of thousands are dying around the world.

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[Right-UP] The Philippines’ COVID-19 Response: Securitising the Pandemic and Disciplining the Pasaway | by Karl Hapal

#HumanRights #COVID19ph

The Philippines’ COVID-19 Response: Securitising the Pandemic and Disciplining the Pasaway
by Karl Hapal

It was the third week of April 2020, five weeks since Metro Manila and other provinces were put under “enhanced community quarantine” (ECQ). Under ECQ, school and university classes were suspended, mass gatherings were prohibited, government offices were run with a skeletal workforce, businesses were closed except for those providing essential goods and services, mass transportation was restricted, and people were ordered to observe social distancing measures and to stay at home. At that time, the Philippines had 6,456 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) confirmed cases, 426 deaths, and 612 recoveries. Quarantine rules specified that only one person was authorized to go out and buy essential goods for the rest of their family. As the designated “authorized person outside of residence” (APOR), I was given a “quarantine pass,” a document issued by the barangay. With my quarantine pass securely kept in my bag, I went out to buy food and medicine in a nearby market. Without any public transportation, I walked for nearly thirty minutes to get to the market. The street leading to the market was relatively empty. Apart from people who were, like me, walking towards the market, very few vehicles plied the road. Occasionally, an ambulance would pass by as well as illegal motorcycle taxis. As I neared the market, I saw slow-moving vehicles occupying the street. It was as if I had gone back to the “old normal.” Soon I saw police vehicles. I also saw several buses where people were being loaded. I thought the buses were there to transport frontline workers. I was later told that the buses were there to transport people apprehended for violating quarantine guidelines. My brief encounter with the government’s campaign to apprehend violators of quarantine guidelines is hardly an aberration. Elsewhere in the greater Metro Manila area, the joint forces of the police and the military cracked down on erring individuals.

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[Press Release] TDC, muling nanawagan sa DEPED na istriktong ipatupad ang work from home scheme sa mga guro

#HumanRights #Teachers #Covid19ph

TDC, muling nanawagan sa DEPED na istriktong ipatupad ang work from home scheme sa mga guro

Matapos ang muling pagtaas ng kaso ng COVID-19 sa bansa at ang pagsasailalim ng Metro Manila at mga karatig-lalawigan sa mas mahigpit quarantine rules, muling nanawagan ang TDC sa pamunuan ng DepEd na ipatupad ang alternative work arrangement (AWA) partikular ang work-from-home scheme.

“Expose na expose po ang mga guro natin sa virus dahil sa iba’t ibang mga gawain gaya ng face to seminars at meetings na puwede naman sanang gawing virtual. Mayroon ding ilang nire-require for home visitation maliban pa sa distribution at retrieval ng modules,” pahayag ni Benjo Basas, Pambansang Tagapangulo ng TDC.

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[Statement] Hindi kailangang ibabad sa isang linggong virtual inset ang mga guro | TDC

#HumanRights #Teachers #COVID19ph

Hindi kailangang ibabad sa isang linggong virtual inset ang mga guro
(Sagot ng TDC sa opisyal na pahayag ng DepEd ngayong araw, Marso 16, 2021)

Sa kabila ng malawak na pagtutol mula sa hanay ng kaguruan, ipinilit pa rin ng DepEd Central Office ang paglulunsad ng in-service training (INSET) sa pamamagitan pagpapanood lamang sa YouTube Live sa lahat ng guro.

Malinaw ang intensiyon ng memorandum na nilagdaan ni Undersecretary Alain Pascua noong Marso 4, 2021 (DepEd OUA MEMO 00-03-21-0063), ito ay para sa lahat ng mga guro, hindi boluntaryo at panonoorin ng live sa iisang platform, ang YouTube.

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[Press Release] A year under lockdown: workers’ condition worse than before | EILER

#HumanRights #Workers #COVID19ph

A year under lockdown: workers’ condition worse than before — labor NGO

The Ecumenical Institute for Labor Education and Research (EILER) is dismayed at the government’s failed pandemic response and for leaving the workers behind, a year after implementing the Enhanced Community Quarantine or ECQ.

Recent government data showed an increase in the annual unemployment rate up to 10.3 per cent, the highest recorded annual unemployment in 15 years (2020 Annual Preliminary Estimates of LFS). Before this, the unemployment rate reached an all-time high of 17.7% in April of 2020.

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[From the web] Women need more vaccines, not tarpaulins! | Akbayan

#HumanRights #Women #COVID19ph

Women need more vaccines, not tarpaulins!

Photo from Akbayan FB page

“More vaccines, not tarpaulins!”

This was the message conveyed by women members of Akbayan Partylist as they unfurled a banner at a footbridge in Quezon City on Thursday marking this year’s International Women’s Month.

The Akbayan women said that they are calling for more vaccine options for the public and an end to early and expensive election campaigning amid the country’s efforts to contain COVID-19.

“Women want more vaccine options. The more vaccines that are made available, the more lives we can save, and the sooner we can all realize a new and better normal for all. Campaign tarpaulins and other early and expensive election campaigning will not save lives nor protect women from the global health crisis,” Akbayan Chair Emeritus Etta Rosales said.

It was reported that tarpaulins that carried messages urging Presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to run for president in 2022 appeared in different parts of the country. Duterte and her supporters drew flak from the public as the tarpaulins sprouted in different areas amid the country’s lack of vaccines against COVID-19.

“As women, who are one of the most vulnerable sectors to the pandemic, we are scandalized by this early election campaigning in the middle of a global health crisis. Hindi bale sana kung ganoon din kabilis ang rollout ng bakuna gaya ng paglalagay nila ng mga tarpaulin sa buong bansa,” Rosales said.

Rosales, who is also a former partylist representative, explained that women have every right to call for more vaccines as they bear the brunt of the pandemic.

“From facing a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission and deaths, as majority of health frontliners are women, to loss of jobs and increasing gender-based violence, COVID-19 has hit women harder and worsened gender inequality. Let us not add furthermore to our women’s multiple burden by depriving them of a fast, safe and efficient vaccine program,” Rosales said.

“We call on the government to provide a safe, adequate, and effective vaccination plan for all. We also call for the faster arrival of more vaccines to give the public, particularly women, the widest array options to protect ourselves from COVID-19,” Rosales said.

https://web.facebook.com/AkbayanParty/photos/a.99632461555/10157600362061556/

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[Press Release] TDC welcomes dismissal of DEPED plan to reduce teachers’ vacation period

#HumanRights #Teachers

TDC welcomes dismissal of DEPED plan to reduce teachers’ vacation period

The Teachers’ Dignity Coalition (TDC) welcomes the statement from the Department of Education (DepEd) that it will no longer pursue the plan to impose a “two-week vacation” prior to the opening of the next school year.

“Teachers, by tradition and by rules are entitled to a two-month school break and the DepEd cannot just disregard this, it’s a matter of right,” said TDC National Chairperson Benjo Basas.

In a radio interview this morning, Dr. Diosdado San Antonio, Undersecretary for Curriculum and Instruction said that the agency will no longer propose a two-week break between school years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022 following criticisms from netizens opposing the plan, which made the matter a trending topic in several social media platforms last week.

The TDC earlier said that a school break of only two weeks between two academic years is unacceptable especially that distance learning has been physically, mentally and psychologically exhausting both for teachers and learners.

Yesterday, the DepEd has released the DepEd Order No. 12, s. 2021 providing for the new schedule of activities under the current school year, extending it further to July 10, among other changes. Said Order, however does not provide for the school break between the SY 2020-2021 and SY 2021-2022.

“Since there are now changes in the schedule, the two-month break should be adjusted as well,” Basas ended.

Basas said that this is only a proof that DepEd can make sound policies if they will listen to their stakeholders, especially the teachers. In a hearing of the Senate Education Committee this morning, Basas reiterated that DepEd should include the teachers, the front liners in education sector in crafting its policies. #

For details:
Benjo Basas, National Chairperson
0927-3356375
NEWS RELEASE
March 3, 2021

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[From the web] Vaccines for all, safety for all -By Rene E. Ofreneo

#HumanRights #COVID19ph

Vaccines for all, safety for all
By Rene E. Ofreneo

No one is safe unless everyone is safe. This, in gist, is the rationale behind the proposal of India, South Africa and other developing countries for a “TRIPS Waiver” under the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) agreement on Trade-Related Aspects Intellectual Property Rights or TRIPS.

The Covid-19 pandemic has bared the global reality: the health of one depends on the health of all. This means all countries should exert efforts to attain “herd immunity” for their populations. Otherwise, the virus, which has been mutating, will continue to circulate endlessly, flaring every now and then in different parts of the world. Hence, it is critical that all countries should have access to vaccines and medical products such as test kits, protective equipment, ventilators, therapeutics and medical devices that are needed to treat, prevent and contain the virus.

The problem is that there are barriers, “intellectual barriers,” in accessing these vaccines and medical products. Under the TRIPS agreement, industrial and pharmaceutical products traded around the world are subject to the protective rules of TRIPS on patents, trade secrets, copyrights and industrial designs. TRIPS is some kind of an aberration under the WTO umbrella of trade agreements. TRIPS provides utmost “protection” to the global trade players such as the multinationals while the rest of the WTO agreements seek maximum “liberalization” of markets for goods and services.

The proposed TRIPS Waiver means exemption of developing countries from the protective rules of TRIPS. Specifically, they shall be allowed to avail themselves of TRIPS “flexibilities” such as the “compulsory licensing” or manufacture of patented vaccines and medical products as well as the right to undertake “parallel importation” of the above from another source without the consent of the patent holders—all in the name of public health.

Click the link below to read more:

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[Off-the-shelf] 𝗔 𝗥𝗲𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗻 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝗔𝘀𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵 𝗧𝗶𝗺𝗲𝘀 -UPCIDS

#HumanRights #COVID19ph

CASES OF ALTERNATIVES | 𝗔 𝗥𝗲𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁 𝗼𝗻 𝗦𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝗔𝘀𝗶𝗮𝗻 𝗖𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝘀𝗲𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵 𝗧𝗶𝗺𝗲𝘀

This year, marginalized and grassroots communities across Southeast Asia faced the unique, uneven, and long-lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in their localities. Despite all, we persisted, trusting in practices, frameworks, and movements as alternatives to an anti-people system.

This report documents these responses from the ground. It bears witness to the power of the people to define development in their own terms.

As we approach the end of 2020 and the start of a new decade, let these cases of community responses by marginalized sectors, communities, and grassroots of Southeast Asian societies remind us of the possibilities of social solidarity and collective action.

Salute to the communities and organizations for braving the crisis of the decade. May their examples be lessons for all communities fighting the pandemic through alternatives.

📖 Read and download the report for free at bit.ly/cidsaltdevrlssea

***

Sponsored by the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung with funds of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of the Federal Republic of Germany.

This publication or parts of it can be used by others for free as long as they provide a proper reference to the original publication.

The content of the publication is the sole responsibility of UP CIDS AltDev and does not necessarily reflect a position of RLS.

#covid19SEAcommunityresponses
#Lawan
#peopleleddevelopment
#alternativeregionalism

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[Right-Up] Ang mga nararapat na gawin ng gobyerno Hinggil sa Suliranin ng Pandemya at Kalusugan -ni Jose Mario De Vega

#HumanRights #Covid19ph

Ang mga nararapat na gawin ng gobyerno Hinggil sa Suliranin ng Pandemya at Kalusugan

Tanong:

Sapat na ba na matugunan ng pamahalaan ang pangangailangan sa vaccine para sa ​​​​”recovery” natin mula sa pandemya?

Tugon:

Hindi! Kailangang muling irehistro ang mapait, kasuklam-suklam at kasumpa-sumpang katotohanan na ang rehimeng ito ang isa sa primordial na dahilan kung bakit nakapasok ang bee-rus na ito sa atin (hindi tayo nagdeklara ng Travel Ban sa mga pasahero galing ng Tsina) at ang pagiging tuta ni Mang Kanor sa China (ang kauna-unahang namatay ditto ng corona virus ay isang Chinese na galing mismo ng Wuhan na siyang epicentre ng global na pandemya noon) ang hindi mapapasubaliang salik na lalong nagpalubha at nagpalala ng pandemya dini sa atin!

Bukod sa kawalang malasakit at pagtingin sa kapakanan ng mga mamamayan, ipinakita din ni Mang Kanor ang kawalan niyang kaalaman at sampu ng mga inkompetente, impertinente at mga tungaw na miyembro ng gabinete na pawang mga walang kasanayan at walang kaalaman sa pagharap at pagtugon sa problema!

Ang problema ay pangkalusugan, ngunit na sa halip na mga ekpersto, siyentipiko, akademiko at mga alagad ng medisina ang manguna sa IATF — ay tinadtad ito ng mga militar!

Sa halip na nakabatay sa agham at siyeniya ang programa, ang ginawa ng rehimen ay militariayon na para ba gang matatakot ang virus sa sandamakmak na mga militar at pulis na nagsilipana sa mga kalsada. Hindi pa nakuntento at naglagay pa ng mga tangke.

Nagdeklara nang Lockdown (na pinakamahaba na yata sa buong mundo) na ang idinulot ay labis-labis na hirap, pagdurusa at kagutuman ng mga tao. Bukod sa magulo, sabog ay lubhang naging mabagal ang pamamahangi ng ayuda na hanggang ngayon ay marami pa ang hindi nakakatanggap at marami din ang hindi kailanman nakakuha ni anumang tulong.

Samantalang pinalulusot ang mga big-time na lumalabag sa mga health protocols ay siya namang lupit at higpit nito sa mga karaiwang mga tao.

Kaya naman sa aking tingin kahit pa matugunan ng pamahalaang ito (na pinagdududahan ko) ang bakuna para sa mga tao ay hindi pa din iyon sapat sa lahat ng mga inhustisya at kawalanghiyaang sinapit ng mga tao sa napakasamang rehimen na ito.

Hinggil sa usapin ng bakuna, kinakailangan na ang gagamitin ay tunay na dumaan sa siyentikong pagsusuri at pag-aaral at hindi kung ano-anong bakuna lamang. Gayundin, walang karapatan ang gobyerno na ito na ipilit sa mga mamamayan ang bakuna na kanilang napupusuan o bakuna ng kanilang minamanok na imperyo kahit pa kuwestiyunable ang naging proseso at kaduda-duda ang diumano’y epikisidad o pagiging epektibo nito.

Kailangan ding idagdag na bukod sa bakuna, kailangang isaayos ng gobyerno ang usaping pang-ekonomiko at higit sa lahat ay ang usapin at karapatang-pangkalusugan ng mga mamamayan. Halimbawa, kailanman ay hindi natin dapat na kalimutan ang ninakaw na P 15Bilyong piso na pondo sa PhilHealth. Sapagkat kakailanganin natin ang nawawalang pondo na yaon sa implementasyon ng Universal Health Care Law o UHC.

Tanong:

Ano ang dapat pang mga ayusin sa sistema ng ​​​​kalusugan, pamamahala, at panagutang kapalpakan ng pamahalaan sa naging CoViD ​​​​response nito?

Tugon:

Habulin, singilin at pagbayarin ang mga magnanakaw at mandarambong sa PhilHealth.

Kanselahin muna ang pagtataas ng kontribusyon ng mga miyembro sa PhilHealth.

Bayaran ng gobyerno ang utang nito sa Red Cross, upang ang nasabing institusyon ay patuloy at tuloy-tuloy na magawa ang tungkulin nito na makatulong sa mga mamamayan.

Ang mga pork barrel ay dapat na ilipat para sa implementasyon ng UHC.

Itaas ang sahod ng mga medical frontliners

Dapat na gawing polisiya ng gobyerno ang pamimigay ng libreng face mask at face shield sa mga mamamayan — lalo na sa mga bulnerableng sektor ng ating lipunan at mga naghihikahos.

Kailangang magkaroon at ipaglaban ng mga Mamamayan ang Karapatan at Katarungan sa Usapin ng Kalusugan…

Panghuli, kinakailangang magkaroon ang gobyerno ng maayos na implementayon ng pamamahagi ng bakuha. Huwag nating kalimutan ang naging magulo at napakabagal nitong ginawa sa pamamahagi ng ayuda at tulong-pinansyal sa mga tao.

Gayundin, ibig kong muling idiin na walang karapatan ang gobyerno na ipilit sa mga tao ang isang bakuna na hindi naman pinagkakatiwalaan ng mga mamamayan. Kinakailangan din sa aking tingin na magkaroon ng malawak at Pambansang Konsultasyon ukol sa bagay na ito at Komprehensibong dissimenayon at edukayon para a Taong-Bayan ukol sa  bagay na ito!

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[Off-the-shelf] YEAR-END REPORT: 𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐀𝐬𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐃-𝟏𝟗 𝐓𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬 -UP CIDS

#HumanRights #COVID19ph

YEAR-END REPORT: 𝐒𝐨𝐮𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐀𝐬𝐢𝐚𝐧 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐩𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐞𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐈𝐃-𝟏𝟗 𝐓𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐬

The Program on Alternative Development of the University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies (UP CIDS) shares its comprehensive account on grassroots experiences during the pandemic entitled: “A Report on Southeast Asian Community Responses in COVID-19 Times”.

This year, marginalized and grassroots communities across Southeast Asia faced the unique, uneven, and long-lasting impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in their localities. Despite all, they persisted, trusting in practices, frameworks, and movements as alternatives to an anti-people system.

The report documents these responses from the ground. It bears witness to the power of the people to define development in their own terms and actualize possibilities for social solidarity and collective action. May their examples be lessons for all communities fighting the pandemic through alternatives.

Read and download the report for free: https://bit.ly/cidsaltdevrlssea

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[People] Recommendations on meeting the marginalized’s needs in the pandemic -by Ed Tadem

#HumanRights #COVID19ph

Recommendations on meeting the marginalized’s needs in the pandemic
by Eduardo C. Tadem

‘Congress should quickly enact legislation that will impose a wealth tax on the richest Filipino families to raise revenue for COVID-19 measures’

On March 8, 2020, the Philippine government declared a state of public health emergency due to rising cases of COVID-19 infections. The country has been under lockdown and quarantine measures for 9 months now. Nonetheless, infections and fatalities continue to rise. The country has the second highest infection rate in Southeast Asia and 7th in Asia.

The government responded to the health crisis with a “whole of government approach,” where state agencies from the national to the local implement containment measures. An Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) was established led by retired generals and two social amelioration programs (SAP) were initiated to provide immediate assistance to families.

The measures exacted a heavy toll on the Philippine economy, society, and politics. The economy is in recession and is forecasted to contract by 8.5%-9.5% for 2020. Poverty rose, half of the labor force became jobless with 40% relying on part-time employment, and hunger stalked 7.6 million families or 31% of the total. Business establishments went bankrupt. Children of poor families were unable to cope with the remote learning modes of education. Human rights violations increased as well as domestic abuses and harassments of women, particularly among the urban poor.

While COVID-19’s impact cuts across all sectors of society, poor and marginalized communities are more vulnerable and bear the brunt of the crisis. Despite difficulties and limitations, however, some grassroots organizations have taken up important roles in providing relief for their communities, especially in areas where government support was lacking.

The University of the Philippines Center for Integrative and Development Studies, Program on Alternative Development (UP CIDS AltDev), with support from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), undertook a research study of 5 grassroots communities: an urban poor home-owners association, a health watch program of a relocated urban poor community, a women’s micro social enterprise, an indigenous people’s community, and, a school for indigenous children. The study generated vivid stories from the community level on how the multifaceted challenges of the pandemic are confronted and addressed.

The case studies

Utilizing collective leadership, mass mobilization and self-regulation principles, the Alyansa ng mga Samahan sa Sitio Mendez, Baesa Homeowners Association (ASAMBA), initiated its own measures to safeguard their members from the pandemic – monitoring mobility, retrofitting their iron gates, establishing checkpoints, initiating a community-wide information campaign, and addressing their food needs.

The self-help measures, however, were insufficient to control the spread of the virus coming from surrounding neighborhoods. The prolonged lockdown, loss of jobs, and reduced income generating activities also impacted heavily on the community.

Upon the onset of the pandemic, the Bantay Kalusugang Pangkomunidad (BKP, Community Health Watch) immediately mobilized its members and resources to respond properly – constantly monitoring the health conditions of the community, providing first aid in medical emergencies, undertaking health education particularly COVID-19 information, and soliciting donations.

Outside relief, however, have been insufficient and inconsistent – offering little relief. The government’s social amelioration program has also been marked by non-inclusiveness and selectiveness, slow and stressful processes, and limited LGU capacities.

Igting or Maigting na Samahan ng mga Panlipunang Negosyante ng Towerville Inc., a women’s social enterprise producing garment and apparel products, leaned on its operations as a momentary saving grace due to bulk orders for face masks. Their situation, however, remains precarious as the residents’ daily lives have been greatly disrupted by the lockdowns and quarantine measures while being subjected to an inadequately implemented and late-coming social amelioration program that was also felt to be stressful, arbitrary, and selective. Quarantine measures are also inflexible and cumbersome as well as inattentive to humane considerations.

The Ayta Mag-indi indigenous community in two ancestral domain villages reacted quickly upon hearing of the COVID-19 outbreak and declarations of a lockdown and quarantine. A communications system and checkpoints were set up and donations were solicited. Lockdown rules were enforced, and they learned all they could about the pandemic. They also reached out to lowland communities to dispel damaging rumors about their alleged virus-causing bat-eating habits.

Government assistance, however, came late and benefited less than 10% of the residents. The Aytas had by then initiated their own measures and relied on their ancestral domain lands and resources to provide them with food security and physical safety. They produced their own face masks from local materials and used their traditional indigenous knowledge about medicinal plants and nutritious fruits as disinfectants and to strengthen their immunity.

The lockdown and quarantine rules, however, are alienating and strange to their culture and traditional practices. Instead, they adhere to and uphold principles of solidarity and caring for one another – constantly engaging in community-wide discussions to assess and meeting their needs despite scant resources.

The Lumad community schools for indigenous children in Mindanao were established in their ancestral lands using DepEd-prescribed curricula with the addition of agriculture and health subjects – distilled from their indigenous cultures and knowledge systems. Government counter-insurgency campaigns disrupted the schools – forcing the closure of many of them and the evacuation of about 4,000 Lumad school children.

The “Bakwit School” was thus created; some relocated to Metro Manila. To offset the pandemic-related school disruptions, remedial classes have been taking place. The emotional health and wellbeing of the students have been addressed through psycho-social support and by cultivating skills and hobbies such as traditional bead work, intramural sports, learning musical instruments, drawing, and painting.

Final note

The 5 case studies reveal that some marginalized communities at the ground level, provided they are imbued with the principles of solidarity, social cohesion, organizational fitness, and sharing can undertake the proper minimum measures to address a health crisis. But because their own resources are scarce, and livelihood opportunities and basic public services are wanting, their capacities to cope with a health disaster of the COVID-19 magnitude are limited and insufficient. This is where the state and its agencies need to boldly step in, recognize and appreciate what the grassroots are undertaking on their own, and provide what the communities are in short supply of.

Eduardo C. Tadem, PhD, is convenor, UP CIDS AltDev. This paper was presented at a Webinar Press Briefing and Public Forum on December 9, 2020. The full report submitted to UNESCO will soon be published by UP CIDS. Co-authors are Karl Hapal, Venarica Papa, Ananeza Aban, Honey Tabiola, Jose Monfred Sy, Nathaniel Candelaria, Micah Orlino, and community residents. The ideas and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors; they are not necessarily those of UNESCO and do not commit the Organization.

The article was also published on Rappler.com https://bit.ly/3prKkFO

Submit your contribution online through HRonlinePH@gmail.com
Include your full name, e-mail address, and contact number.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos, etc.

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