Clear and relevant, sectors say of Leni’s Kalayaan sa COVID Plan
Representatives from the urban poor and small business sectors said that presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo’s Kalaayan sa COVID Plan was “clear and relevant” as the pandemic continues to be the country’s top problem.
“Malinaw talaga yung kanyang plataporma at saka napapanahon, dahil ang pandemya ang unang unang problema natin dito sa Pilipinas. Kaya malinaw na yun ang tinutukan niya.” said former kagawad Josefina de la Serna of Barangay 599 in Sta. Mesa Manila, Manila at a small gathering with fellow Kakampinks after Robredo’s Kalayaan sa COVID Plan was released in various social media platforms on November 3.
Other supporters of the Vice President, who announced her presidential bid a month ago, also joined a Facebook Live discussion hosted by Team Leni Robredo. They included the Nanays for Leni and Alliance of Labor Leaders For Leni (ALL4Leni) led by their spokesperson and senatorial candidate, Atty. Sonny Matula.
Matula emphasized that the current administration missed opportunities to regularize employees and failed to support small businesses as they reeled from the outbreak of the pandemic last year by choosing to import PPEs instead of sourcing locally.
Nanays for Leni representative, Bernadette Cariaga, described Robredo’s COVID plan as a “first step” after she read the blueprint for the “Kalayaan sa Kakulangan sa Edukasyon” (Freedom from Inadequate Education).
Before face-to-face classes resume, Cariaga said schools must ensure that all personnel are vaccinated, proper handwashing facilities are available, food is handled and provided safely, and social distancing is still observed. She also made an appeal to ensure safety of public transportation for students and those taking them to school.
The different sectoral representatives at the Facebook Live discussion shared their current situation and immediate needs.
“Ang kailangan ngayon ng small businesses is really new capital, new markets, and trying to be accepted again in the market, trying to find employees again, dahil simula ulit eh.” said Maan Dela Cruz Sicam, a small business owner.
Small businesses continue to suffer from decreasing sales and increasing costs, which now include sizable healthcare expenses for employees. Sicam reiterated that most staff were afraid of getting tested for COVID-19 because testing positive would mean isolation and missing days of work.
“Parang KKB: Kagutuman, Kawalan ng pag-asa, at Butas na bulsa.” said Debbie Bartolo on the current situation of urban poor communities.
Most of these families resort to eating two times or less a day to make ends meet while juggling work and their children’s schooling. Bartolo said the current online learning set-up failed to take these into consideration.
In a post shared by the group, Dapat Si Leni, on Facebook, Dr. Adrian Rabe, a professor of primary care and public health, said: “Leni's Kalayaan sa COVID Plan is a fresh take on health systems building. It covers the critical actions we desperately need to take: rooting out corruption in healthcare financing, maximizing technology to bridge the distance between our islands and in our rural areas, supporting healthcare workers financially, emotionally, physically, and facing COVID not with a military solution but with a science-based medical solution.”
Doctors For Leni said in a Facebook post: “Ang #DoctorsForLeni ay naniniwala sa kakayahan ni VP Leni Robredo at sa kanyang mga programa upang maibsan ang epekto ng COVID-19 sa ating lipunan.”
Kalayaan sa COVID Plan aims to liberate the Filipino people from their fear of COVID-19, hunger, and inadequate education brought about by the pandemic. The framework details an eight-point pandemic freedom plan, a number of which Robredo has already been implementing through the Office of the Vice President (OVP).
These include the community learning hubs which are learning facilities where students can have free access to gadgets, wifi connection, including tutors and the Bayanihan E-Konsulta, a free medical teleconsultation service. (end)