“It is impossible to impose a lockdown in the capital’s many slums. Many live without a roof over their heads. Others are crammed into makeshift shelters where it is very hot. It is difficult to ask them to stay locked up for a long time,” the bishop said.
According to the Philippines Statistics Authority, 21 percent of people living in this predominantly Catholic country are poor. Besides, 2.5 million of the capital region’s nearly 13 million people live in slums, while 3.1 million are homeless.”How are we going to contain the spread of the epidemic once it reaches the slums? The coronavirus is even more undetectable in the slums. Moreover, they are primarily concerned with their day-to-day survival, not the virus,” Bishop Pabillo said.
He said most poor in Manila are daily wage workers. “They don’t have any savings in case of a hard blow. The government has not announced any specific aid to help day laborers and the poor.”
He said the Catholic Church has been at the forefront of efforts to help the needy.