Alan Peter Cayetano press con August 11, 2021

Food and medicine ‘non-negotiable during lockdown’

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Former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday identified hunger and lack of access to healthcare as the two immediate issues that need to be addressed in the case of an extended lockdown, saying any government lapse in responding to these problems would be inexcusable.

“There is no excuse with a government with almost P5 trillion not being able to deliver food,” Cayetano said at a press conference on August 11 before distributing P10,000 in cash aid each to 51 retail sector workers in Metro Manila as part of his Sampung Libong Pag-Asa COVID-19 financial assistance program.

Kaya can I recommend, tutal mahilig si Presidente sa 911 tapos y’ung sa hotline sa Malacañang, maglagay na sila ng hotline sa hunger,” Cayetano said. (link hunger hotline story) 

(That is why I recommend, since the President pushed for 911 [emergency call center] and that Malacañang hotline [8888], they should have a hotline in place for hunger.)

He added that systems can be set in place at the barangay level to identify beneficiary families and verify their actual food security situation, but that what matters is to ensure that aid reaches households who are experiencing hunger.

Cayetano also called attention to the effect an extended lockdown will have on people’s access to medicine or to hospital care, with public transport limited and even unavailable for many of Metro Manila’s 13 million residents.

In a society like ours, no excuse po na may nagugutom o may namamatay na hindi nakakakita ng doktor o kaya walang pambili ng gamot, especially we’re in a pandemic,” he said. 

(In a society like ours, there is no excuse for people going hungry or dying without seeing a doctor, or not being able to buy medicines, especially we’re in a pandemic.)

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