Pampanga Aetas face discrimination over ‘bat diet’ amid COVID pandemic

The indigenous Aeta group Mag-Indi in Porac, Pampanga has experienced discrimination over their diet that includes bats.

A study by the University of the Philippines and the United Nations presented challenges of the indigenous peoples in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic that reportedly began from bats in China.

According to the report, some Kapampangans alleged that the virus actually came from the Aeta because they eat bats. Thus, they are avoided when they go downtown or to the lowlands.

Even the Aetas already have reservations in making contact with outsiders as they believe they are more prone to the infection, which they do not want to carry back to their community.

Aside from the discrimination, Aetas also faced challenges in getting help from the government and accessing PPEs to protect them from COVID-19. A cash subsidy for only 27 families was given to 250 Aeta families from the Social Amelioration Program.

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