Celebrities appeal to the government to offer financial help and basic necessities—such as food, housing, and medications—to workers affected by the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon for the duration of the month due to the COVID-19 virus. Most of these workers are under "no work, no pay" arrangements.
In a March 16 Instagram post, actress Angel Locsin requested for "financial support" for workers, as lack of income is the main reason why they opt to risk leaving their homes despite the initial Metro Manila quarantine.
Many were shocked by photos that have gone viral on social media showing the throngs of people along main thoroughfares, all waiting for public transport. This has made it close to impossible to observe proper social distancing, which is one of the most effective ways of stopping the spread of the virus.
Angel said (published as is): "Sa gitna po ng paglaganap ng CoVid19, walang sinoman na nasa matinong pag-iisip ang magnanais na lumabas sa matataong lugar para mahawa at makahawa ng sakit.
"Alam natin na importante ang social distancing at proper hygiene pero hindi po ito sasapat kung may mga kababayan tayo na kelangang maghanapbuhay bawat-araw para makakain at matustusan ang mga basic needs ng pamilya gaya ng pambayad sa renta, kuryente, tubig, at iba pa.
"Marami rin po sa kanila ay mga contractual workers, mga self-employed, maliliit na manininda na walang tiyak na kita sa araw-araw at baon sa utang."
"Kung matitiyak lang po sana ng ating pamahalaan na may financial support para sa kanila, hindi nila kelangang sumugal sa labas.
"Malaking bagay din kung may temporary stop on amortizations and loans o kahit pagtanggal sa interest & penalties.
"Sana rin ay magbigay ng consideration ang mga kumpanya ng basic utilities like kuryente at tubig bilang kawang-gawa sa mga mahihirap na apektado ng dislocation sa trabaho."
"And also, I hope Philhealth will shoulder treatment for those who have CoVid19."
Bianca Gonzalez, Erwan Heussaff, DJ Chacha
The sentiments of celebrities Erwan Heussaff, DJ Chacha, and Bianca Gonzalez were no different.
Bianca appealed to the government to ensure help for workers: "PLEASE take care of those whose livelihood is affected by the quarantine."
The host also noted that even the smallest effort to help can mean a lot:
"An idea on how we ordinary citizens can help daily wagers na no work no pay...
"Dun muna tayo sa malapit sa atin: Asawa ng ka-trabaho, anak ng katiwala, kapatid ng kakilala?
"Maybe donate to them in cash or kind, kahit maliit, malaking bagay."
Erwan, on the other hand, hoped that consideration would be given when it comes to rent that retail businesses still need to pay, despite being forced to close during the quarantine.
"If retail businesses are requested to close and not generate any revenue, hopefully something is done about landlords, not charging rent, during this period of recommended non-operation."
DJ Chaha also tweeted: "Libreng upa, pagkain, gamot at inumin para sa mga kababayan nating hindi kayang mag-survive ng walang trabaho sa isang buwang Community Quarantine."
Different agencies to help regular employees, daily wage earners
On March 15, Secretary Silvestre Bello III said in an interview with DZMM that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will financially cover private employees that had to go on forced leave for the duration of the quarantine community quarantine; however, he clarified that the mandate does not cover employees that are not regularized.
Nevertheless, there will be an Emergency Employment Program for non-regular employees and daily wage earners.
On March 16, the Office of the Cabinet Secretary released the implemeting guidelines of the recently annonced Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine, which urges DOLE, as well as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), as well as the Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management, and Department of Trade and Industry "to help with the funding needed by those who won't be able to work."