DEAR EDITOR – If Fiji students are evacuated then why not us Philippines students.
After all, we are all SIG sponsored students.
Why the government granted repatriation for Fiji students and not for us Philippines students.
This is a very sad situation for us. If we are to compare the severity of the situation between Fiji and the Philippines it is very serious here in the Philippines compared to Fiji.
We understand that currently there are only two confirmed positive cases in Fiji compared to 396 positive cases here in the Philippines.
I do not understand what can of assessment the government does with regards to our situation compared to Fiji.
On behalf of us Philippines students, we are very very sad as to why the government treated us this way. For us, we feel that the government have favouritism when dealing with regional students compared to us Asian students. It seems like the government had abandoned us in this very risky situation.
What really disappoints us was that we had made a similar call to the Ministry of Education a few weeks ago for early Evacuation but after weeks of waiting it had been relayed to us by PS MEHRD that our call was turned down.
As explained to us by PS MEHRD the reason why our call was turned down by the Cabinet was that we did not supply enough evidence to justify the seriousness of the situation here.
They insisted on some advice/reports coming from Philippines health authorities, the Philippines government, World Health Organizations (WHO) and the various institutions that we are studying at.
However; to obtain those documents it’s not easy for us. First, we just can’t go and ask directly any advice/documents from the Philippines government since our country does not have any political relationship with the Philippines government hence, no embassy here that will assist us in those areas.
Second, it’s the sole responsibility of the government to concern about the welfare of the students, it should not depend on the advice of those universities since all they after are money, not our safety.
Third, how can they expect us to provide a report from WHO when Manila is currently under strict lockdown and we are not allowed to go out of our apartments.
All in all the outbreak of CONVID-19 here in the Philippines was not hidden, the government should not insist on evidence on the seriousness of the situation here since all the information and updates are always available on the internet and media.
If it’s true that the government is concerned about the welfare of its students they should listen and believe whatever information supplied by the student executive since we don’t have an Education Attachie here in the Philippines to assist in those areas.
If the government had granted our initial call for evacuation we should have evacuated already before the situation gets worst like now.
Again currently the number of confirmed cases here stands at 707 and 45 deaths, however, we expect these numbers to continue to increase drastically in the next few days since every day the number of positive cases increases.
Our worry now is if we get infected with this virus it will be very difficult for us since the cost of medical here in the Philippines is very very expensive not only that the Philippines government will only prioritize its own citizens compared to us foreigners.
In addition to that in a news today 3 infected patients of ConVid-19 have been sent home yesterday due to lack of spaces in hospitals and health centers.
Currently, all means of public transportations are suspended, malls, grocery stores, and basic services like Western Union which we depend much on it for getting money were closed down.
This is some of the challenges and risk that we are facing right now.
Therefore; we humbly call on the government to be fair when dealing with its sponsored students in all countries. If Fiji students will be evaluated the same must be applied to us Philippines students.
As such, since the government has granted Fiji students a call for evacuation we beg the government to please reconsider your decision on our fate.
After all, all of us are SIG sponsored students and should be treated on the same or equal basis. If happen evacuation is impossible government must consider providing extra financial assistance to us to assist us while we stay here however if not, whatever happens to the lives and health of any of our students SIG will be held accountable for that.
Thank you and May God bless and protect the Solomon Islands❤.
Philippines SI student president