Michelle Silvertino, 33, was found unconscious on a pedestrian bridge along a major highway in the capital Manila on June 5.
Silvertino walked from Quezon, north of Manila, to Pasay in the south, hoping to take a walk from there, CNN Philippines reported. But this proved futile and became illegal on a pedestrian bridge for several days, where she was found unconscious and later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Her death angered the Philippines and the hashtag #JusticeforMichelleSilvertino took to Twitter. People across the country have joined the social media campaign, calling for justice and criticizing the government for not doing enough to help latent workers like Silvertino.
Silvertino’s misery is shared by many Filipino workers who were left stranded during the lockout as they were unable to travel home due to restrictions.
“We are like beggars here. All we want is to return to our families,” one passenger told the news agency.
However, the outcry over Silvertino’s death reached the presidential palace and on Thursday the government announced that it would help the wrong workers in the country to return to their homeland.
“Nobody wanted that to happen, but now we’re going to take steps to ensure that what happened in Michelle doesn’t happen again. We have a new policy to help all those who are at airports and bus terminals,” Rock said.
The statement added that latent workers would undergo rapid tests for the Covid-19 before being transported.