DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Progressive groups in Davao Region have made initiatives to extend help to communities and sectors affected by the public health crisis brought by the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
Youth group Kabataan Party-list (KP) in Southern Mindanao has revived the Tulong Kabataan, a network of youth organizations for relief efforts during crises and disasters, following the imposition of community quarantine in this city.
They called for donations and have already distributed relief packs, face masks, and hand soaps to the homeless and less fortunate citizens in the city.
“Along with these contributions, the youth sector is also critical in expressing their suggestions and criticisms to the national government, which aim to provide solutions to this ongoing crisis,” said Jayvee Cabajes, KP’s Vice President for Mindanao.
Amid the pandemic, he added, the youth remains active, this time though, in extending help through donations to vulnerable sectors.
Advocates under the Save Our Schools Network also organized a donation drive for hundreds of Lumad evacuees who sought sanctuary at the UCCP Haran due to militarization in their respective communities.
They bid to gather food supplies and medicines especially for the Lumad children and elderly.
As stores have been lacking supplies of surgical facemasks, Sabokahan, a group of Lumad women, sew facemasks for the evacuees in UCCP Haran through the help of their alliance.
Meanwhile, labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU)-Southern Mindanao Region, initiated online facilitation of reports from affected workers who have not yet received the Php 5,000 grant from the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE)-XI’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program.
Through its Facebook page and mobile hotline, KMU has endorsed at least 75 reports to DoLE-XI from workers affected by flexible work arrangements and temporary company closures.
The reports included workers who want to have a follow-up on the assistance and those who said their employers did not report to the agency to apply for the program.
The national government has been battling the spread of COVID-19 for weeks now. As of April 9, there is a total number of 4,076 cases with 124 recoveries and 203 deaths. As of 4:00 PM the same day, there are 206 new cases.
However, the challenges in the implementation of mass testing, provision of supplies for the frontliners and relief to communities, among others, remain.
On April 3, activists here held a Black Friday Protest from their respective homes, joining the growing call for medical solutions and not militarist actions from the government to combat the disease, as well as additional and immediate assistance for Filipinos after President Rodrigo Duterte was granted with emergency powers through the Bayanihan We Heal as One Act.
“Sa panahon ngayon hindi usapin kung ikaw ay kaliwa o diliwan. Ang usapin ngayon ay paano tayo bilang bansa makakalagpas sa COVID-19 pandemic. Kung paano natin matutulungan ang mga frontliners na malinaw na namamatay dahil sa mismong kapabayaan ng gobyerno ni Duterte,” Bagong Alyansang Makabayan-Southern Mindanao Region said in a statement. Ken E. Cagula/davaotoday.com