COVID-19 THROUGH THE CRACKS: Helping the vulnerable and invisible during the pandemic

Mga kapitbahay, the latest set of The UrbanisMO Podcast episodes are out on all platforms. This time, we focus on marginalized sectors and far-flung regions that are as vulnerable to the deadly outbreak but don’t seem to get as much attention as NCR and other urban hotspots. Forgotten Filipinos are at risk of falling through the cracks.

To help ensure that the country’s coronavirus response becomes inclusive and more sensitive to the plight of the marginalized, UrbanisMO.PH, Young Public Servants and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism led a series of podcast conversations focusing on sectors that are perceptibly absent in mainstream discussions about the Covid-19 response: senior citizens, persons with disabilities, farmers and micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and conflict-affected communities outside Metro Manila. And we’ve got an amazing lineup of speakers, interviewed by our favourite historian Aaron Mallari.

Episode 1: The Covid-19 response: Are the elderly and disabled being left behind?

Emily Beridico from the Coalition of Services for the Elderly, Dr. Maureen Mata of AKAP Pinoy (Alyansa ng may Kapansanang Pinoy) and Dr. Grace Cruz of the UP Population Institute weigh in on the issue of inclusion in the time of Covid-19.

Episode 2: Lockdown learning: Making education accessible despite the pandemic.

Dr. Grace Zozobrado-Hahn, a physician and Steiner-Waldorf Education practitioner based in Palawan, says children face their own set of challenges during the pandemic, while Regina Sibal, former principal of Miriam College Grade School and Far Eastern University Senior High School, outlines measures that the government and the education sector need to take to ensure continued access to education. Elsa Magtibay, a school administrator at Xavier School in Sta. Rosa, Laguna, points to opportunities to improve educational delivery.

Episode 3: Covid-19 in the Bangsamoro (Part 1 of 2)

Bangsamoro ministers Atty Naguib Sinarimbo and MP Atty Laisa Masuhud Alamia discuss how the pandemic response has become one of the region’s biggest challenges to date, as it transitions to a parliamentary government that is autonomous, but somewhat still reliant on the national government. Prof. Rufa Cagoco-Guiam, an expert on governance and inclusion, weighs in on how the pandemic and the Bangsamoro government’s ability to deal with it is crucial to the peace process.

Episode 4: Covid-19 in the Bangsamoro (Part 2 of 2)

Bangsamoro parliament member Zia Alonto Adiong and Ma’am Azrifah Mamutuk of the Lanao del Sur provincial government discuss the aftermath of the Marawi siege more than three years and a pandemic later, while NGO leader Fatima Pir Allian calls attention to the plight of displaced Bangsamoro people outside the region.

Episode 5: Lifeline needed: Small businesses struggle amid lockdowns.

Charlene Tan and Mabi David of Good Food Community talk about the effects of the pandemic on farmers and local food systems, and local government responses to address these challenges, while Meann Ignacio speaks from her experiences in a cooperative that helps urban communities continue to earn a living. Ronn Astillas of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce discuss how LGBT companies are coping with the new normal of doing business.

These episodes are available on The UrbanisMO Podcast channel on Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Google Podcasts, PocketCasts, RadioPublic, Spotify and Stitcher.




Google Podcasts: 



Spotify: Stitcher:

This five-episode podcast was produced by UrbanisMO.PH and Young Public Servants with support from Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Philippines, International Center for Innovation, Transformation, and Excellence in Governance (INCITEGov) and PCIJ.

Hat-tip to editor Carl Sayat and everyone who helped put this series together!

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