Liza Soberano: Where is government support for the poor?

Actress Liza Soberano took to Twitter on Monday, March 22 to lament the state of the country, over a year after the COVID-19 pandemic first reached our shores. The spread of the virus resulted in varying lockdowns over the country beginning March 2020.

In March 2021, the government imposed a new kind quarantine over Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna after the country tallied the highest number of COVID-19 ever.

"My heart bleeds for all the people who cannot afford not to go out and work. They literally have to choose between dying of starvation or dying of covid," Liza wrote.

She also questioned if the Philippines is really "this poor" to not afford a stimulus for its people. "Genuine question lang po," she added.

Stimulus refers to action by a government or institution that's meant to encourage economic activity, typically in order to avoid a recession. In the US, part of it is through stimulus checks issued to qualified individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Where is the support for the poor in our country?” Soberano said in another tweet. 

"America has received 2 rounds of stimulus already, waiting on the 3rd. Covid testing is free, vaccination is free. Madali lang naman po mag (It's easy to) stay at home if everyone has food on the table and money to pay the bills," she added.

Liza also retweeted another Twitter user, who said that "the point here is not to compare financial status but to compare where the funds go and how it was spent."

"We're not, as you say, as rich as america and no, we're not expecting every single filipino to be fed or vaccinated. We just wanna see that at least SOME are getting help," the Twitter user added.

The tweet was in response to another Twitter user's reply to Liza, saying that Liza was "comparing our 'poor' country to the first world country." The user also said that "our country is too poor to feed every Filipino's mouth, so don't expect that much."

Liza also replied to the tweet, asking: "So what do we do?"

"Just sit back and wait for a miracle to happen? Pray that covid just disappears. 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," she added.

"Hayy I honestly don’t even know if my tweets/ my voice is actually doing anything. We can only pray for compassion now. Good night everyone! God bless all of you. Stay home if you can," Liza's last tweet read.

Liza's tweets come after Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Monday, March 23, that government would not be preparing new aid packages since tweaks to the existing quarantine in the "NCR Plus" bubble, referring to Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna, did not require a shutdown and the closure of establishments. The Philippine economy has fared badly in 2020, with over 4 million Filipinos unemployed as of January 2021.

The "stricter" quarantine began on March 22 and will end on April 4, unless shortened or extended by President Rodrigo Duterte himself. The measures were introduced after COVID-19 cases in the country spiked, hitting levels higher than in 2020, when the pandemic began. –