MANILA — “Is our country really this poor?”
This was the question of actress Liza Soberano as she expressed concern over the situation of many Filipino workers, amid the record-high surge of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Soberano, 23, spoke on the topic through her widely followed Twitter account.
“My heart bleeds for all the people who cannot afford not to go out and work. They literally have to choose between dying of starvation or dying of COVID,” she wrote.
“Is our country really this poor to no be able to provide stimulus? Genuine question lang po.”
Soberano’s statement came as the Philippines logged 8,019 new cases of COVID-19 on March 22 — a third consecutive record-high.
In a subsequent tweet, Soberano, who is half-American and who has a family based in the US, mentioned the country’s ongoing stimulus program.
“COVID testing is free, vaccination is free,” she noted.
Comparing the situation here, Soberano added: “Where is the support for the poor in our country? Madali lang naman po mag stay at home if everyone has food on the table and money to pay the bills.”
Soberano then re-tweeted a follower’s explanation of the actress’ comparison.
“The point here is not to compare financial status but to compare where the funds go and how it was spent,” the user, @Athenaaaa08, said, in response to another follower who told Soberano to “not expect much,” given the US is first-world country, while the Philippines is only developing.
“We’re not, as you say, as rich as America and no, we’re not expecting every single Filipino to be fed or vaccinated. We just wanna see that at least SOME are getting help.”
In a third tweet on Monday night, Soberano said: “Hayy I honestly don’t even know if my tweets/ my voice is actually doing anything. We can only pray for compassion now. Good night everyone! God bless all of you. Stay home if you can.”
Soberano, one of the most visible and in-demand actresses today, has time and again used her wide following on social media to bring attention to a range of issues, from women’s rights, child exploitation, the government shutdown of ABS-CBN, to the ongoing health crisis.