NPA Covid-19 response: Mass clinics, food aid and production
In response to the call of the Communist Party of the Philippines to launch health campaigns to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, the NPA-Central Negros (Leonardo Panaligan Command) extended medical services to at least 1,000 farmers during the last week of March. NPA medics paid close attention to the elderly and pregnant women. They conducted check-ups and distributed herbal medicines for fever, cough and colds. They also distributed vitamins to improve the masses’ resistance against diseases. At the same time, they educated the masses about the pandemic.
Members of the barrio health committee, Makibaka and Kabataang Makabayan helped in conducting the mass clinic.
In Bicol, around 260 individuals from three barangays received rice from the NPA during the last week of March. The said barrios were affected by the food crisis brought about by the regime’s lockdown. The NPA unit and mass organizations supervised the the distribution of emergency aid. The funds used by NPA in the relief operations were revolutionary tax collections.
NPA units in Panay, Quezon and other areas also launched information drives.
These efforts are in line with the CPP’s call to immediately help those in need. At the same time, the Party advised all its forces to carry out emergency food production and intensify economic work in revolutionary territories. The CPP issued the call amid Duterte’s restrictive lockdown in Luzon and other parts of the country which is causing severe problems on the people.
In reality, the lockdown is not just in Luzon. Many local governments have imposed enforced quarantines and closed their borders. Businesses, transportation, schools, churches and other socio-economic activities have been shut down. Because of this, majority of the people have lost their income and are having a hard time buying food, medicines and other basic needs. In some provinces, only churches give out aid. Aid from local government units, if there is any, is distributed at snail pace. The people are yet to receive any subsidy from the national government.
The Party called on all NPA units to plan out emergency food production to cultivate palay, camote and other root crops, bananas, maize, pechay and other vegetables and crops that can be harvested in the short-term.
It also advised its forces to launch economic conferences to assess their needs and supplies, and their production potentials, and come up with specific plans to cover the rest of the year.
The Party also called on landlords to allow the use of their land for emergency food production without rent. It urged landlords to extend financial assistance, use of facilities and other resources. The Party also urged all local and international agencies and organizations to extend all forms of assistance to help the masses in emergency food production efforts.