Groups use social media to help sectors hardest-hit by COVID-19 pandemic

“This [#BarangayDamayan] aims to unite citizens while we undergo this public health crisis. It is very evident how the government has not provided urgent solutions such as free mass testing, accessible health care and assurance of job security amid the community quarantine. We see these as more tangible solutions rather than troop deployment.”

By REIN TARINAY
Bulatlat.com

MANILA — Progressive groups led by Citizen’s Urgent Response to End COVID-19 (CURE COVID) launched a Facebook community called #BarangayDamayan on Tuesday, March 17 to gather support for the affected families and frontline workers of the ongoing enhanced community quarantine.

#BarangayDamayan has one goal—to gather financial, food, transportation, sanitation and legal consultation support and services for the marginalized sectors who could not afford to sustain a living because of the economic and health crisis the pandemic had brought up.

In an online interview, Jawo Jayme, one of the members who initiated the project, said that the network aims to connect people who are seeking for donations and people who are willing to donate.

He described this as an act of volunteerism in trying times and also highlighted that the lack of action, solution and concrete plan of the President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration are only few of the many reasons networks like these are emerging.

Free, accessible healthcare and concrete solutions for the marginalized sectors

“How can the poor survive if they cannot work, which also means they do not also get paid,” Jayme, who is also member of Kadamay, said.

Since Duterte announced the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, and placed the whole country under a state of calamity, there has been no declaration on how the poor will get support, testing, and treatment. Most of the government’s actions are focused on police deployment, as well as military power over designated checkpoints all over Metro Manila.

“This [#BarangayDamayan] aims to unite citizens while we undergo this public health crisis. It is very evident how the government has not provided urgent solutions such as free mass testing, accessible health care and assurance of job security amid the community quarantine. We see these as more tangible solutions rather than troop deployment,” Jayme said.

Social media movements such as #INeedARide and #RockEdCarpool were also launched to appeal for private citizens with cars to provide transportation for frontliners as mass public transportation has been prohibited following the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon. ()

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