Experts think COVID-19 crisis revealed existing inequalities in the country

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More than the threat of getting the virus itself, the COVID-19 pandemic has done a pervasive job of exposing the inequality that exists in societies and institutions.

This was the conclusion of several experts during an online seminar or webinar hosted by CNN Philippines. They talked about the impact of COVID-19 and quarantine measures and how it affected individuals in varying degrees depending on their social status.

While everyone is certainly suffering due to the pandemic, the poor faces three major concerns: lack of work, transportation and money to pay for medical services. He cited a survey that showed the road network is skewed towards car owners but only a fifth of the population have cars.

Oscar Bulaong, a professor at the Ateneo de Manila University, said government plans must tackle the root of poverty during the crisis.

“The problem of poverty is systemic so I am a little worried that we are hearing less of that conversation about how to alleviate poverty,” Bulaong said. “I think the conversation has to continue about how to solve this in the context of risk management.”

University of the Philippines College of Medicine professor Dr. Tony Dans also shared how the poor are the most affected during this crisis.

“It is the responsibility of those who are less stressed to take care of those how are devastated by this pandemic,” Dans said.

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