Liza Soberano Asks the Question on Everyone's Mind: Where's Our Money Going?

A year later and everything's still a mess.

liza soberano
PHOTO Instagram / Liza Soberano ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) New COVID-19 cases in the Philippines were at an unsettling new high with 8,019 cases on Monday, March 22, right as the GCQ bubble in "NCR Plus" began. And with all the tension online, it was actress Liza Soberano who used her much-larger-than-average platform to ask some very big questions about the state of government support. "Is our country really this poor to [not] be able to provide stimulus??" she posted in a series of tweets late on Monday night. Double question marks included.

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Tweets By Liza Soberano Fire Up Twitter

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In her tweets, Soberano wrote "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]." The latest restrictions in movement—and subsequently, livelihood—were put in place amid the spike in cases. Several private hospitals in Metro Manila declared their COVID-19 wards full on March 22; small businesses are forced to tighten their belts yet again.

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Soberano then pointed out the stimulus checks provided by the U.S. government to their people, asking "Where is the support for the poor in the country? Madali lang naman po mag stay at home if everyone has food on the table and money to pay the bills."

In reply to this tweet, a user commented, "Yes, Liza, our country is too poor to feed every Filipino's mouth. So, don't expect that much." To which the actress responded, "So what do we do? Just sit back and wait for a miracle to happen?" Adding that it was unfortunate that "The instruments/decision-making are not in our hands."

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Soberano ended her questions with a thought about whether her voice "is actually doing anything." As of writing, the buzzy tweets have hundreds of replies each with more than 30,000 retweets in total.

How Much Pandemic-Response Debt Do We Owe?

The actress's comments come after four whole days of record-high numbers in the Philippines. COVID-19 cases were at an all-time high on March 19 with 7,103 cases; it breached the 8,000-mark on March 22. 

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Government debt in relation to the pandemic was recorded at P10.13 trillion as of November 2020, according to CNN Philippines. The vaccine program has begun with a target of inoculating around 70 million by the end of 2021 in order to achieve herd immunity; as of March 20, a total of 336,656 have been vaccinated according to data from the Department of Health. 

For 2021, there are plans of borrowing as much as P3.3 Trillion more with a focus on vaccine procurement, said Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez. So a year later, it looks like we're still asking the same questions about the pandemic response. 

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