Filipina-American actress Liza Soberano took to Twitter last night to find answers to questions that have been bothering her a year into the pandemic, specifically the support offered to poor Filipino families by the Philippine Government during the health crisis.

According to the 23-year-old actress, she feels for those who are unable to go out and work to provide for their families. She notes that most of them have to choose between ‘starvation’ and ‘getting COVID-19.’

Soberano also questioned if the Philippines is this ‘poor’ to not be able to provide stimulus packages to struggling Filipinos. 

Her remarks came after the release of a new memorandum from the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF), which sees Metro Manila and the nearby cities of Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, and Bulacan under strengthened quarantine measures or what the government calls a “bubble” starting March 22 and until April 4. 

The heightened quarantine protocols are the government’s response to the growing cases of COVID-19 infections in the country, especially in the National Capital Region. 

In another tweet, Soberano compared the USA’s handling of the pandemic to the Philippines’ saying the former is already in its third wave of stimulus checks. 

Soberano, not mincing words, also asked, “where is the support for the poor in our country?” She stressed that it’s easier for people to follow health measures and to stay at home when people have ‘money’ and ‘food on the table.’

The Philippines has its own stimulus program called the Social Amelioration Program, which is handled by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. It saw the government provide poor Filipino families with two-time cash support of P6,000 to P8,000 last year. 

In a recent press briefing, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made it clear that ‘no cash aid’ will be provided to families inside the metro “bubble,” noting those who need to work are able to. 

“Iyong sinasabi na ayuda na gaya ng binigay natin sa ECQ, dahil hindi naman po natin pinipigil magtrabaho ang ating mga kababayan eh hindi na po tayo dapat magbigay ng ganoong ayuda dahil puwede pong maghanapbuhay ang lahat,” he stressed. 

The Department of Health reported the highest increase in daily COVID-19 infections yesterday for this year, which saw numbers rise to 8,019

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