SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
Deputy Speakers Dan Fernandez and Neptali Gonzales II on Wednesday delivered their privilege speeches respectively, in the observance of the “Linggo ng Paggawa,” centering on the indispensable role of our informal and health workers in combating the current COVID-19 health crisis.
In his privilege speech, Fernandez commemorated the day’s Informal Economy Labor Day. He said that the informal workers are not protected by labor laws and working without benefits, no social protection nor labor standards to protect their rights, health, safety and well-being.
He stressed the importance of formulating plans for COVID-19 recovery as early as now, to help the increasing number of informal workers who are losing their livelihood brought about by the effects of the current pandemic.
“It is incumbent upon this honorable House to learn from this pandemic and use this learning to formulate solutions that will enable our people to reclaim and restart their lives. Government responsiveness is most important especially for the welfare of our poor citizens,” Fernandez said.
Meanwhile, Gonzales cited Republic Act 10069 or the National Health Workers’ Day which is commemorated ??on May 7?? of every year, recognizing the importance and significance of health care for the Filipino people.
He said the role of the health care workers was highlighted by the world pandemic created by COVID-19. Doctors, nurses, medical technologists, ordinary healthcare workers and auxiliaries of hospitals and health centers around the country all faced the dangers of COVID-19, notwithstanding the lack of PPEs, surgical masks, and other important medical paraphernalia and materials, he said.
Even in these scary times of caring for COVID-19 patients, Gonzales said healthcare workers suffer from sleepless nights, worries and uncertainties, including fear for their own safety and having to stay far away from their families. He said they did not complain and even did their mandate as health care workers with utmost love and dedication for the sick.
In fact, Gonzales said many of these health care workers were tested positive from the deadly virus while doing their duties in the hospitals, and several of them died. It is unfortunate that healthcare workers became victims of ridicule, harassment and discrimination after serving faithfully in the hospitals, he said.
“I personally witnessed the act of heroism of our health workers, doctors and nurses particularly in the Madaluyong City Medical Center, the National Center for Mental Health, and a private hospital, the Dr. Potenciano Medical Center, wherein I saw how the rank and file employees of those hospitals did their duties to care for our patients who are victims of the dreaded disease. Two of them actually died, Dr. Cenobel Licandro Bautista of the Surgical Department and Manny Pacheco, Nursing Supervisor of the Mandaluyong City Medical Center,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said the nation should dedicate ?May 7? to all health care workers who sacrified their lives and who continue sacrificing themselves to defeat this COVID-19 for the welfare of their fellow men.
“No amount of prize may be awarded to our health care workers whose heroism was used as an instrument of God’s Healing of the Sick,” Gonzales said.