Local Watchdog Expresses Concern as UPHS Health frontliners Contract COVID-19
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·MONDAY, JUNE 29, 2020
Social Watch Philippines (SWP) calls for urgent implementation of support mechanism for health care frontliners as seven UP Diliman Health Service workers tested positive for COVID-19 recently.
On Tuesday, the DZUP Balita tweeted that seven University of the Philippines Health Service (UPHS) was tested positive of the corona virus. The UPHS promptly replied that all of the infected workers have been isolated and their close contacts have been traced by the UPHS Public Health Unit, assuring the public that services will continue at the said facilities.
According to the SWP, this development is important because “when prevention at homes and at the community level fail, patients are transferred to health facilities or hospitals, the third and final arena for treating COVID-19.”
“The health sector as a whole, the technical experts, and health workers are working round the clock to prevent health facilities from becoming overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients at the expense of those who are also sick with non-related COVID-19 diseases,” the group said.
CSOs: ‘Universal health care is one of the pillars of a good pandemic response’
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·SATURDAY, MAY 9, 2020
Social Watch Philippines
Alternative Budget Initiative Health Cluster
Philhealth was recently put in the hot seat when it publicly cited a provision in the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law of a three percent (3%) premium hike for all direct contributors, which includes Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). According to the law’s guidelines, 2020 will be a transitory period, while the full implementation of the hike will take place in 2021. Given the unfortunate timing of the announcement, with hundreds of thousands of workers now displaced from their jobs due to the pandemic, a public backlash in the media ensued, especially from OFWs. Despite President Duterte’s instruction to Philhealth to temporarily suspend the ill-timed hike in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the attacks in media against the Universal Health Care (UHC) law in its entirety continued, placing the UHC law in a bad light.
More LGUs are heeding call for universal approaches to social support measures, says SocialWatch Philippines
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·SATURDAY, MAY 2, 2020
Leaving no one behind is a hallmark of the universal approaches to the delivery of social protection measures. “We commend some local chief executives (LCEs) and their city and municipal councils for providing more universal social protection coverage to their constituents. Coming up with supplemental budgets to finance these initiatives show political will”, Social Watch Philippines (SWP) said in a statement.
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto was the first to express concern about the fact that around 113,000 families will be excluded from #SocialAmeliorationProgram (SAP) benefits and that this would cause social unrest among his constituents. He announced that the Pasig LGU will come up with a supplemental budget of ₱1.5 billion to cover the cash assistance gap. While this will not match the ₱16,000 of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to cover two months, the Pasig City government will study its cash position, cancel certain activities/projects and realign its budget in order to provide a one-time handout of ₱8,000
“It’s time for more universal approaches”, Social Watch Philippines tells government on social measures
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·FRIDAY, APRIL 10, 2020
“During this time of great insecurity and humanitarian crisis, the government should explore more universal approaches in the delivery of social protection measures,” says Social Watch Philippines (SWP) “not as an act of charity but as a matter of rights and entitlement.”
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19 #COVID19PH) outbreak has intensified poverty levels, already widespread in the country considering that the informally employed make up over 80 percent of Filipino workers. “Now is not the time to fine-tune the criteria of who is deserving of government aid and who is not. During this period of intensified and widespread poverty, they are all deserving”, observed Dr. Ma. Victoria Raquiza, SWP Co-Convenor.
Filipino Sign Language crucial for the Deaf in battling COVID-19, civil society groups say
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·FRIDAY, APRIL 3, 2020
Social Watch Philippines (SWP) and FSL ACcess Team for Covid-19 (FSLACT4COVID19) appeal for the government to intensify its information drive against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. “Deaf people have the same need for access to timely public information as with the generic public, but are clearly being left behind during these trying times”, SWP and FSLACT4COVID19 said in a statement.
The government disseminates statements, announcements, and updates on COVID-19 initiatives on a daily basis through press briefings, news releases, videos, and infographics. But the deaf find them either difficult to understand or visually inaccessible.
SOCIAL WATCH PHILIPPINES POSITION PAPER
A Proposal to Simplify and Fast-Track the Social Amelioration Program and Other Social Protection Measures
SOCIALWATCH PHILS·MONDAY, APRIL 6, 2020
We are a network of civil society and community-based organizations that has consistently advocated for people-centered sustainable development.
We acknowledge and appreciate the hard work of the government, civic groups and other stakeholders, especially the front-liners, who are doing their best to serve our people in spite of the physical and mental dangers posed by the #COVID19PH crisis, and the constraints on various fronts.
We note the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on grassroots communities. There is a pressing need to equalize life’s opportunities and conditions for all, not as an act of charity but as matter of rights and entitlement. We are concerned about the growing lack of food and other essential needs among the most vulnerable – especially the informally employed who comprise over 80 percent of Filipino workers - who now have lost their sources of incomes due to the pandemic and enhanced quarantine. The delayed delivery of public assistance is raising the level of frustration among the impoverished communities.
Social Watch has made its statement on how the Philippines could end poverty and achieve sustainable development through its Spotlight Report three years ago. The report wanted to change everything—from a proposed vision of prosperity without growth, to changing the strategy and indicators.
Many good things are happening within society as a whole. But there is really need to engage government more not only to make a “whole government approach” but a “whole of society approach” to work towards bringing us closer to our dream of fairness in a fragile world.
Towards Coherent Policies for Sustainable Development
Social Watch Philippines (SWP) turn over 200,000 signatures to Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito in support of the passage of the Universal Health Care bill and Tobacco Tax Increase bill on Thursday, September 20 during a Manila Youth Leader’s Assembly held at Polytechnic University of the Philippines Sta Mesa.