San Jose del Monte Rep. Florida Robes of Bulacan has called for the activation of mental health desks in barangays under the Mental Health Act to address what she says is the worsening mental health situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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She urged the public to donate to cause-oriented groups dealing with mental health issues, such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Robes said apart from the protocols put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the communities, local government units should put up mental help desks in every barangay for those suffering from anxiety or depression as a result of the pandemic.
“The establishment of mental health desks in the community level is provided for under Section 16 of RA No. 11036. The issue on mental health should also be given importance given the mental health risks we are all facing,” Robes said.
House Majority Leader and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez on Sunday praised the assurance by the National Task Force on coronavirus disease 2019 chief implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. to improve the health protocols under the “Hatid Probinsya” program.
“This is a welcome development in our defeat-COVID-19 campaign. I thank Secretary Galvez for acting with dispatch in ensuring the safety of locally stranded individuals and all provinces in our country through improved health protocols,” he said.
Romualdez is the co-chairperson of the Defeat COVID-19 ad hoc committee.
The Hatid Probinsya program is a short-term humanitarian effort to help locally stranded individuals and repatriated overseas Filipino workers in Metro Manila back to their home provinces due to the limited transportation as a result of the pandemic.
Help the MSMEs
Senator Sonny Angara on Sunday called on the Department of Trade and Industry to step up its efforts to help micro, small and medium enterprises in finding markets to sell their wares during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result of the community quarantines imposed across the country, many MSMEs—including those from the indigenous communities—are having difficulty selling their products because the movement of people and the access to traditional markets are being restricted.
“In order to continue operating and generating revenues during the community quarantines, entrepreneurs have started shifting to online markets,” Angara said.
He says these are currently where all the action is, so if the businesses that have been shuttered for the past three months are thinking of resuming operations immediately, online is the way to go.
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