By Deighton Acuin


Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday urged the government to provide assistance to the poor instead of blaming them for going outside their homes amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In asking for assistance, Robredo suggested looking at how other countries have done the program.

Though she did not mention any country, it seems to be referring to the United States in which the government provided stimulus checks of $1,400 to individual taxpayers to help them from the negative effects of the pandemic.

“If that person has the means to support his family, it will be easy to follow. But if the family has no food, even if the danger of contracting the virus is there, then the breadwinners will go out to work in order to feed their families without thinking that they could get infected,” Robredo said in her weekly radio show.

She lamented the government is pointing to people’s stubbornness anew as the reason for surging coronavirus cases in the Philippines.

The last time the government provided financial assistance to low-income families was in April last year, though many said they have not received their share from their respective local government units.

Furthermore, Robredo said it is easy for others to reprimand people going outside, telling them to simply comply with the rules.

“Kasi madali lang sabihin na ‘sumunod na lang kasi kayo.’ Madali sabihin, halimbawa, kung ikaw nasa bahay kahit ‘di ka pumasok ay may kakainin ka, nanonood ka ng Netflix, naka-aircon ka pa siguro,” she said.

“Pero sa ordinaryong Pilipino nakikipagbaka araw-araw kahit pa sabihin mong grabe iyong pandemic, kung walang kakainin ang pamilya, lalabas at lalabas,” she added.

Although reopening the economy slowly over the past months was necessary to help Filipinos get back on their feet, the government should still find a way to provide help. Robredo said this is the only way for Filipinos to heed the government’s health and safety protocols.

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