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‘Is our country really this poor?’ Liza Soberano expresses compassion for struggling Filipino workers amid COVID-19 surge

By Brooke Villanueva Published Mar 23, 2021 12:01 pm

Liza Soberano showed empathy and concern for “people who cannot afford not to go out and work” in the time of COVID-19. 

Her reaction came after a significant surge in confirmed coronavirus cases in the country was recorded. Just yesterday, March 22, the numbers  soared to another record high since the start of the crisis—with 8,019 reported infections for one day alone, bringing the total to 671,792 cases and 12,972 deaths, according to the Department of Health.

In a series of tweets, Soberano highlighted the reality that some Filipino workers “literally have to choose between dying of starvation or dying of COVID.” She later questioned: “Is our country really this poor to not be able to provide stimulus?”

Comparing the Philippines to America—where some of her nearest and dearest are based—the actress emphasized that aside from free COVID testing and vaccination, “America has received 2 rounds of stimulus already, waiting on the 3rd.” 

“Where is the support for the poor in our country?” she wrote. “Madali lang naman po mag stay at home if everyone has food on the table and money to pay the bills.”

A netizen countered her tweet, pointing out that she’s “comparing our ‘poor’ country to the first world country.” Soberano replied: “I believe God works wonders but I believe that he gives us the instruments to make that happen. Sad thing is the instruments/decision making are not in our hands.” 

“Hayy I honestly don’t even know if my tweets/my voice is actually doing anything. We can only pray for compassion now,” Soberano concluded, reminding her followers to stay home if they can.

This isn’t the first time that the Kapamilya star has openly voiced her opinions on the country’s issues. It can be recalled that she got red-tagged late last year after her appearance at a Gabriela Youth forum, where she talked about violence against women and girls.

The DOH has recently launched a page showing the selection process and approval of COVID-19 vaccines in the Philippines. As noted in a previous report by PhilSTAR L!FE, however, it “does not have a detailed tracking of procurement and the money trail with respect to how the approved loans for the COVID-19 vaccines are right now.” 

Senator Panfilo Lacson posted the total budget for vaccine procurement on Twitter and asked, “Nasaan ka bakuna?” Senator Risa Hontiveros later reposted his tweet, saying, "Bakuna pa lang yan. NASAAN BA ANG 690 BILLION PESOS na inutang natin para sa total COVID response?"

President Rodrigo Duterte recently said that the borrowed money for the COVID-19 vaccine deployment is still with the banks. "Ang buong akala nila, 'yung pera na bilyon na ibinigay nila sa Kongreso, nandiyan na sa kamay natin, that it's cold cash. Nasaan na yung pera? Sinasabi na natin time and again that the money is with the lending banks, still. So we have not used a single centavo," he explained.

Article thumbnails from Liza Soberano’s Instagram account