The COVID-19 pandemic which affected the Philippines has choked not only the local but also the global economy. COVID-19 has stopped social gatherings in many places across the globe as part of physical distancing to stop the spread of the disease.
Community quarantines have become a new norm since the pandemic started. However, the government under President Rodrigo Duterte must also address the citizens’ needs apart from basic items like food.
The enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Metro Manila has forced people to stay at home to prevent contracting the disease. However, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) cited that the current scenario also bred alarming cases of household and street violence caused by the mental burden of the ECQ.
Other concerns on human rights may also include the violation of patients’ rights for appropriate medical care and humane treatment. Some patients were reported to have been refused by hospitals resulting in death. Checkpoint or ECQ violations also emerged during the past weeks.
Addressing these human rights concerns, the CHR has launched an “E-Lawyering Program”. This program provides Filipinos convenient access to immediate legal assistance concerning human rights violations. They can also report incidents via phone or email.
“This will ensure that they get the immediate referral of cases to appropriate government agencies for proper action,” said CHR Focal Commissioner on Migrant Rights Gwendolyn L.L. Pimentel-Gana in a statement.
Pimentel-Gana also ensured that the CHR “will continue to perform its protection, promotion, and policy advisory mandates concerning human rights.”
Anyone may report concerns about human rights violations through CHR’s hotline ((02) 8928-5792) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information, visit www.chr.gov.ph/.