Filipino front-liners in the fight against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) are living proof that modern-day heroes exist, President Rodrigo Duterte said during the National Heroes’ Day commemoration program on August 31, 2020, at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani in Taguig City.
Duterte said front-liners deserved just as much recognition as forebears who fought for the country’s freedom.
“Today, we honor not only the valor of our forebears who fought for our mother land’s freedom, but also the heroism of those who risked their lives, fighting a different kind of enemy,” Duterte said.
He honored front-liners for their “selfless” contributions amid the prevailing Covid-19 health crisis, encouraging others to do the same.
“Present-day challenges posed by the current public health crisis has given rise to modern-day heroes: the countless Filipino frontliners here and abroad who are battling the Covid-19 pandemic,” Duterte said.
Duterte also expressed hope that the bravery of past and present heroes would inspire Filipinos to overcome “the most unfavorable situations.”
“Together, let us become everyday heroes as we pursue a better future for everyone,” he said.
In a separate National Heroes’ Day statement, the President emphasized that if it were not for the legacy of past and present heroes, the Philippines would not be shaped to be “the beloved nation as we know it today.”
Duterte noted that the current health crisis demands “a new expression of heroism”—the kind that has been shown by Filipino frontliners in various settings.
“In honor of our heroes, let us strengthen our resolve in overcoming the challenges ahead guided by the virtues and standards set by the stalwarts of our nation,” he said.
According to him, the “courage, bravery, and indomitable spirit” of past and present heroes should inspire Filipinos to uphold the country’s sovereignty.
Earlier, Malacañang urged health care workers to avail of the emergency hiring program of the Department of Health (DOH) and serve fellow Filipinos before considering work overseas.
The deployment of health care workers was temporarily suspended by the government after a national state of emergency was declared.
The government plans to hire 10,000 healthcare workers to augment the current workforce.
To entice health care workers, the government also vowed to provide additional benefits such as risk allowance, PHP15,000 for those who get infected with Covid-19, life insurance, free accommodation and transportation, and free and regular testing for all medical front-liners.
Every last Monday of August, the nation pays tribute to past heroes of the revolution, as well as unknown men and women who sacrificed their lives for freedom from colonial rule. (Azer Parrocha, PNA)