COVID Conversations: Tess Briones on the Urban Poor’s Concerns

Tess Briones of Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, Philippines, at our #COVIDConversations on how the marginalized respond to COVID-19, emphasized the gaps in policies and services that make it doubly difficult for the urban poor to face the challenges posed by this pandemic.

First, the ‘stay at home’ order confined the urban poor to their cramped shelters with very poor ventilation and in most cases, without running water.

Social distancing, which may have been difficult in and of itself for any one of us, is quite impossible for the urban poor to implement where they live and where they are left to survive.

The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) also prevented the urban poor, who are mostly daily wage earners, from earning money to secure even a day’s worth of basic needs.

“The utmost concern of the urban poor is food security, not the virus. They worry about where and how to get food, how to cure their sick, when and how to earn money…”