Escudero urges gov’t: Don’t forget homeless, street kids in vaccination drive
MANILA, Philippines — Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero on Sunday called on the government to not forget the homeless and street children in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Escudero, who is seeking a Senate comeback in 2022, said that “the presence of these marginalized segments of society continue to increase during the Christmas season, especially in Metro Manila, asking for help from motorists and the commuting public, which make them more vulnerable and at risk of getting infected with the deadly virus.”
He said that street dwellers, mostly concentrated in Metro Manila, should not be left out of the vaccination program even if the region has already vaccinated its target population.
“Gusto kong malaman kung ang ating mga kababayan na nabubuhay sa kalsada, kasama na ang mga batang kalye, ay nababakunahan o nabakunahan na? Hindi sila dapat kalimutan dahil mahalaga rin ang kanilang kalusugan,” Escudero said in a statement.
(I want to know if our countrymen living in the streets and the street children are already vaccinated. They should not be forgotten because their health is also important.)
“Bagama’t kailangan ng pangmatagalang solusyon upang sila ay maialis sa kalsada (Even as there is a need for a long-term solution to take them away from streets), we have to make sure that the government is looking after their protection which, of course, includes the much needed COVID-19 vaccines,” he added.
Citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority, Escudero said there are around 4.5 million homeless people or those living in informal settlements in the country as of 2018. About three million of them are in Metro Manila.
The governor, citing information from non-government organization hope.org.ph, also noted that street children comprise about one to three percent of the children and youth population in major cities in the country. He said that Metro Manila alone is home to an estimated 30,000 street children out of the 250,000 nationwide.
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.