AdChoiceTV News — Have you been seeing the “bank account: $1400” meme on Twitter where Americans joke about what they’ll be “splurging on” with their stimulus money? It seems that Liza Soberano might have, too.
Soberano posted a series of tweets last night, Mar. 22, asking whether the government can provide the same for Filipinos. “My heart bleeds for all the people who cannot afford not to go out and work. They literally have to choose between dying of starvation or dying of [COVID-19].
Is our country really this poor to not be able to provide stimulus?? Genuine question lang po.”
In a press briefing on Mar. 21, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced that the National Capital Region and nearby provinces Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal aka NCR Plus will be under general community quarantine (GCQ) until Apr. 4.
When asked whether the government will provide financial assistance for those who will be affected by the additional restrictions, Spox Roque simply replied that there would be “no economic lockdown.” While it wasn’t a definite no, the way he skirted around the question flushed our hopes for stimmy checks down the drain.
In another tweet, Soberano said, “America has received [two] rounds of stimulus already, waiting on the [third]. [COVID-19] testing is free, vaccination is free. Where is the support for the poor in our country? Madali lang naman po magstay at home if everyone has food on the table and money to pay the bills.”
Contrary to the “pasaway” narrative prompting the prolonged lockdown, a May 2020 survey showed that Filipinos believe in the value of staying home. Time magazine even wrote a piece that lists the reasons why despite this acceptance, a number of people are still forced to risk going out. Among them, and this might not come as a surprise, is political uncertainty.
Soberano retweeted a netizen who defended her statement from someone who said that we shouldn’t compare the government response in a “poor” country from a first-world country. “The point here is not to compare financial status but to compare where the funds go and how it was spent,” wrote the netizen.
“[Hay,] I honestly don’t even know if my tweets/my voice is actually doing anything. We can only pray for compassion now,” Soberano followed up.
Does anyone have any update on Bayanihan 3? You know, the proposed P420 billion fund that promises an additional P108 billion for social amelioration. Or have we forgotten about that already?
Art by Pammy Orlina via Preen.ph
Reporting by Albert Rovic Tan