Recession with worsening pandemic
Militarist, non-medical lockdown is destroying economy, household incomes – Anakpawis
Manila, Philippines – As the country’s economy posted a historical 16.5% decline in GDP growth for the 2nd quarter, which is lowest since 1981, the Anakpawis Party-list blamed the Duterte government’s militarist and non-medical lockdown policies and stressed that it is destroying the economy and household incomes. He said that while household incomes and livelihood of people from across sectors are affected, government policies throw these crucial sacrifices, not just with the failure to flatten the curve of pandemic, but of incompetence to arrest its worsening.
“Sinc March, the people were calling for free mass tesing, free face masks and strengthening of the public health system, but Duterte carried out mass arrests, silencing or threatening critics, and useless massive deployment of the police and the military. Now, it is not only the poor sectors who are bearing the brunt of his criminal incompetence, but also the middle sector or business owners whose sacrifice to lose income were virtually flushed out the drain, as the lockdown never brought about the flattening of the curve,” Ariel “Ka Ayik” Casilao, Anakpawis Party-list former representative said in a press statement.
He said that the whole population witnessed the militarist lockdown as detrimental to the welfare of the poor, especially when food and relief aid were inadequate, that pushed them to defy the “stay-at-home” policy in search for incomes.
“Aside from the treacherous rejection of banning travels from mainland China at the early stage, Duterte neglected the weak capacity of the public health system, protection of the frontliner health workers, and free mass distribution of face masks to the public. Now we are suffering the critical state of the public health system, and the government is requiring face shields, sans provision to the poor people,” he added.
He raised the alarm the latest decline is far below the United Nation’s economic projection for the year, which 3.2% for the world, 5% for developed and 0.7% for developing countries. Likewise, of the World Bank’s estimates, 7% for advanced economies, and 2.5% for emerging market and developing countries. Briefly, the latest economic numbers signified the massive loss of household incomes of poor families and incomes of the business or middle sectors.
Finally, he urged the middle sectors to denounce the militarist approach of the Duterte government under the guise of pandemic response.
“We urge the business community, especially the SMEs, to oppose the useless and militarist measures of the Duterte government and to join the poor sectors’ call for free mass testing, protection of the frontliner health workers and strengthening of public hospitals and facilities to decisively resolve the pandemic. The repeated and endless mass deployment of police and military, along roads and in communities, but neglecting the legitimate pleas of the health workers and the people, is akin to insanity or doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If no reforms are made at present and at the fourth quarter, our country’s economy might fall into the classification of critical, if not totally terminal in 2020,” he ended. ###