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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

Economy depends on COVID-19 containment

Poverty to last long if the country fails to contain COVID-19

MANILA – Poverty will continue to be felt in the country should the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise from a month ago.

As of 4:00 P.M. today, the Department of Health (DOH) reported 6,846 new COVID-19 cases across the country bringing a total of 1,108,826 cases since the pandemic began last year. The same report said 8,193 recovered while 90 succumbed to the virus.

During this morning’s Tapatan sa Aristocrat, Filomeno S. Sta. Ana III, executive director of Action for Economic Reforms, said business establishments may reopen soon should the government deals with the threats posed by COVID-19.

“If transmissions are curbed, if our health system is not overwhelmed, then we can open business,” he said over Tapatan sa Aristocrat.

Fr. Victor Sandoval, mission station chaplain from Letre under the Diocese of Kalookan said people are trying their best to make both ends meet, especially women who find ways to earn by selling face masks.

“They find ways not to lose hope amid the pandemic,” Fr. Sandoval said. However, he said he believes more people die not from COVID-19 but from ailments brought by malnutrition.

He added people buy what is affordable but not necessarily nutritious.

“Even vegetables, most affordable to the poor, are expensive,” Fr. Sandoval further said.

Meanwhile, CO Multiversity’s Jessica Amon said the worst sign of poverty is hunger. She said communities around Metro Manila are suffering from hunger brought about by COVID-19.

“The severely affected are physically-challenged persons who no longer gets to work because of COVID-19 restrictions,” she said. She added the blind masseuse and the wheelchair bound persons from different communities in Metro Manila are left dependent on the ayuda or government subsidies.

Leticio Datuwatu of the Timuay Justice and Governance said though they are not as problematic with the onset of COVID-19, they are suffering from uncertainty in their livelihood due to the peace and order problems in their communities.

He said the peace-loving communities are not beset with peace and order problems brought about by armed elements from the Bangsamoro Independent Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Both Fr. Sandoval and Miss Amon said the ayuda remains short for the poor people’s needs.

Fr. Sandoval said the poor people have to pay exorbitant power and water rates in various communities due to submetering arrangements.

Men Sta. Ana said with the vaccines up for distribution and the downtrend in COVID-19 cases may lead to the slow reopening of the economy. (Melo M. Acuña)

Fr. Victor Sandoval, Chaplain of the Letre Mission Station and Jessica Amon, Coordinator of CO Multiversity speaking at Tapatan sa Arisrocrat this morning. (Melo M. Acuna)

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