Michelle Silvertino, 33, was found unconscious on a footbridge along a main road in the capital Manila on June 5.
Silvertino walked from Quezon City, just north of Manila, to Pasay City in the south, hoping to make a trip from there, CNN Philippines reported. But it turned out to be pointless and she was stranded on a pedestrian bridge for several days, where she was found unconscious and later declared dead at the hospital.
Her death sparked outrage in the Philippines and the hashtag #JusticeforMichelleSilvertino trended on Twitter. People across the country have joined the social media campaign demanding justice and criticizing the government for not doing enough to help stranded workers like Silvertino.
Silvertino’s difficulties are shared by many Filipino workers who were stranded during the lockdown because they could not travel home due to the restrictions.
“We’re like beggars here. All we want is to go home to our families,” a 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 stranded workers in the country to return home.
“Nobody wanted this to happen, but we will now take steps to ensure that what happened to Michelle will not happen again. We have a new policy to help anyone stranded at airports and bus terminals,” he said Roque.
The statement added that stranded workers will undergo rapid tests for Covid-19 before finding transport.