Filipinos at risk in pandemic will get help from new website

Filipino Americans are disproportionately exposed to the pandemic, and now a nationwide organization of Filipino professionals is providing help through a mobile website.

It is called TAYO, which in the Filipino language of Tagalog means "us." It was created as a virtual help desk and designed to be language-friendly and is culturally tailored.

"As literally the caretakers of the world, we just started asking ourselves, 'Who is taking care of us," said program director Leezel Tanglao.

As part of The Caretaker Project, the Filipino Young Leaders Program conducted a survey of users and learned that the community wanted an information source that they could trust.

"We saw a lot of our older folks in our community sharing not reliable information. So that was very scary to us," says Tanglao.

The site provides many facts about COVID-19 - and much more, like what to do if you are laid off.

"It helps community members navigate a lot of these systems that are very difficult to try to wade through," says Tanglao.

The Project says statistics show the population's exposure to COVID-19. Of four million Filipinos in the U.S., 500,000 are hospital workers, 520,000 are senior citizens. That means one in four Filipinos is at risk.

The death toll is staggering. Filipinos make up about 4% of registered nurses in the U.S., yet nearly a third of registered nurses who have died of COVID-19 are Filipino, according to National Nurses United.

"It is colossal - like a wave in terms of what that has done to our community," says Tanglao.

TAYO is a pilot project funded by a grant from Booz Allen and will launch this weekend in Los Angeles. The Care Project hopes to make it nationwide, a solution that provides help for vital helpers.
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