Our doctors are dying, our people are starving. In the streets, cancer and dialysis patients are walking miles and miles just to reach hospitals and treatment centres. People are wailing out of this tragedy but here we have the Duterte regime allotting a whopping Php 14 Billion for tourism! Where is President Duterte getting all the nerve to ask for an emergency power?
From the beginning of his term, Duterte already made a Php 31 Billion budget cut for health in 2016 while the 2020 allocation for the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine was slashed by 57 percent. No wonder that the country has been experiencing a torrent of epidemics from measles to the worst dengue outbreak we have seen in 10 years. Polio has even made a grand comeback two decades after its eradication. The Duterte regime has failed big time in providing quality healthcare and medical services to the Filipino public. There is nothing universal about Duterte’s “Universal Healthcare” Law that is being extolled by his bootlickers. All responsibility is being passed on by Duterte to LGUs. Was it LGUs who made these budget cuts in the first place? This is a global pandemic that necessitates action at the national level, for heaven’s sake!
As we have seen in the past few days, big political personalities and senior government officials close to President Duterte are getting the highest VIP treatment in the COVID-19 tests despite the absence of symptoms. Abusing their power at the expense of thousands of ordinary people who endure days waiting for their results. Woe unto these ruling class parasites!
While other countries are doing great strides in conducting mass testing, the Philippines is way far behind with only 1,200 tests conducted. This is way lower than Vietnam’s 15,637 tests and less than half of Palestine’s 2,519. Even Iran which has been hit hard by US sanctions has already made 80,000 COVID-19 tests. With 1,545 tests, the scarcely populated and landlocked country of Kyrgyzstan is enough to shame the Duterte regime. His health secretary stubbornly rejects calls for mass testing.
If the Duterte regime can’t even provide relief and welfare to the local Filipino population who are just under his nose, then OFWs have more than enough reasons to fear that they have been trashed once more into oblivion. Welfare assistance for those terminated from their work is meagre. As thousands are stranded and hit by overseas retrenchments, destitution awaits them upon their return.
President Duterte has Php 13 Billion as Contingency Fund and Php 16 Billion Disaster Risk Reduction Management Fund, what is this emergency power for? No doubt, this only redounds to Duterte voraciously salivating to have more power for corruption! More money for his opulence and depravity! He spoiled more than 3 years of his time granting boons to POGO operations when he could have built more hospitals, research facilities and treatment centres. With doctors dropping down dead, our healthcare system is fast collapsing but the agony of the Filipino people fall on deaf ears.
There is no more reason for the Duterte regime to stay in power. Duterte’s folly and incompetence are just too flagrant to be pushed aside. The deepest recesses of hell and eternal damnation should be reserved for Duterte and his entire legion of abusive officials and corrupt politicians who have plagued this country for too long.
No to emergency powers!
Free mass testing now!