March 21, 2020
The Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) today launched a nationwide campaign to encourage public participation in the fight against COVID-19 through social media, community-based initiatives and appropriate protest actions.
BAYAN is the biggest and widest alliance of progressive people’s organizations in the country, with member organizations and chapters in all regions and most provinces.
Called “#FightCOVID19,” the campaign is centered around 12 health and socio-economic measures that BAYAN said the government should implement in cooperation with citizens and groups that have the capacity to help in addressing the crisis at various levels:
- Adequate budget for free testing, treatment and containment of COVID-19 as well as rehabilitation of health services;
- Free and systematic mass testing for COVID-19, prioritizing PUIs, PUMs, and those in high infection areas;
- Additional equipment, supplies and personnel for hospitals’
- Community-based sanitation and quarantine centers;
- Support and protection for frontline health personnel;
- Improved systems to address COVID-19 down to the community level.
- Prohibit layoffs and provide assisstance to affected workers;
- Emergency relief packs and other assistance to the poor;
- Moratorium on payments and penalties for basic utilities and services, including rent and loans;
- Price controls and adequate supply of basic goods and services;
- Adequate transportation for those who need it;
- Prohibit demolition of informal settlers and provide shelter to the homeless.
In a document published online titled “#FightCOVID19: Kalampag ng Bayan laban sa COVID-19 at pabayang gobyerno,” BAYAN urged the public to demand the said measures from government as well as make initiatives to achieve them through various means and at various levels.
The group urged its members to support frontline personnel and agencies against COVID-19, as well as organize volunteer brigades to hold information, sanitation and disinfection, and relief drives in the community.
BAYAN also said government officials, including Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, should be held accountable for failing to act adequately and swiftly to avert the crisis. It called for appropriate forms of protest actions to push the government to adequately respond to the crisis.#