Quijano: Misplaced Priorities, Unnecessary Effects - Philippines

Special Issue: Pandemic Asia. 2020 July/August
The Asia-Pacific Journal | Japan Focus Volume 18 | Issue 15 | Number 6 | Article ID 5435 | Aug 01, 2020
Mit freundlicher Erlaubnis von Japan Focus.

Misplaced Priorities, Unnecessary Effects:
Collective Sufferingand Survival in Pandemic Philippines

Nastassja Quijano, Maria Carmen (Ica) Fernandez, Abbey Pangilinan

Despite one of the world’s strictest and longest lockdown policies, the Philippines’ securitized approach to containing the COVID-19 pandemic has led to unnecessary suffering, especially in poor communities. This article explores how the Philippine government’s prioritizing of punitive policies such as detaining quarantine violators or attempting to decongest Manila by sending poor families to neighbouring provinces, magnifies existing socio-spatial inequalities and further spreads disease. In many of these communities, poverty is a co-morbidity. As local governments struggle to provide frontline health and social welfare services, high-profile arrests, media shutdowns, and the proposed Anti-Terrorism Bill spark concerns about restrictions on free speech while movement is curtailed. Nevertheless, community and private sector efforts around localized healthcare, food security, and inclusive mobility indicate potential paths towards a ‘better normal’ that goes beyond just survival.

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