April 7, 2022 @ 8:41 PM 3 months ago

“We must find time to stop and thank people who make a difference in our lives.” – John F. Kennedy
Exactly a year ago today at the height of the pandemic, the Pasig City government, in coordination with the Bureau of Fire Prevention and non-government organization volunteers offered a 3-minute siren and salute to Rizal Medical Center’s doctors, nurses, and employees for their dedication, hard work, and sacrifices.

The cacophony of sounds emanating from the wailing of the sirens, the continuous honking of passing vehicles, and the endless applause of those who gathered in front of the hospital was nothing but heartwarming and soul-stirring.

At that very moment, those who saw what was happening realized how important our frontliners were in our fight against the pandemic.

And our collective expressions of gratitude were not enough to wipe away the tears from their eyes. Like sheep that were being led to the lions’ den, they drifted dutifully even if they were worried that they were teetering on the verge of death.

And we waited with bated breath as the number of casualties increased. By the end of 2020, a total of 13,629 front-liners had been infected and 76 had succumbed.

This, as some idiots at the Department of Health are announcing that not every one of the poor souls was entitled to the Special Risk Allowance “because only those who were assigned to the COVID ward are in danger of being infected.”

Then came the infamous “Pharmally Scandal,” which highlighted the roles of government officials who are acting as middlemen for DOH purchase contracts and earning billions of pesos from questionable transactions while many Filipinos suffer and battle the impact of the pandemic.

Through all these ignominious and wretched hullabaloos, the frontliners persevered and carried us to where we are now – a country relatively safe and crawling slowly towards economic recovery.

However, the plight of our nurses and other medical workers is still in shambles.

Today, more than a thousand of our frontliners are queueing to secure working visas from other countries because the salary here is just a pittance compared to what their peers are receiving abroad.

It’s the same old story: Filipino carpenters have no home, jeepney drivers have no jeeps, and health care workers HAVE NO MONEY TO BRING THEIR LOVED ONES TO THE HOSPITAL.

And all this while our politicians are expressing their undying love for our frontliners, honoring them as modern-day heroes, and lifting them to the top of the pantheon of our history.

To this I say: Cut the crap, end the lip service, stop the bullshit! Create and implement a law that will assure that they will be protected and empowered like our policemen and soldiers and stop them from going abroad because we need them here.

Sa aking mga kababayang FRONTLINERS, salamat po ng marami!