Press Release
March 12, 2020

Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on the First Local Death of a Filipino due to COVID-19

The Department of Health has just confirmed the first local death of a Filipino due to COVID-19. Kagaya ng marami, hindi ko itatago ang aking lungkot at pangamba. At this crucial moment, I ask that the government demonstrate the leadership that the public needs in order to shepherd ourselves out of this crisis.

I also ask the public to religiously follow the protocols and guidelines set by our health authorities, practice social distancing if capable, and conduct self-quarantine if needed. It cannot be emphasized enough that proper hygiene, especially frequent and proper handwashing, is still the best weapon against the virus.

Hoarding of protective gear like face masks, tissue rolls, and alcohol will limit the supply for those who need them the most. Our frontline health workers, as well as the immunocompromised, such as the sick, elderly, and the pregnant, should have ample access to these essential supplies.

COVID-19 has become a real danger to our institutions. It is testing our public health system. But worse yet, it is testing our faith in each other. However, let us remember that we will get through the threat of this outbreak, not as individuals trying to save ourselves, but as a community saving each other.

We will recover by how we take care of each other.

We are safe when those around us are safe.

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