November 29, 2023

Just like any of us, frontliners in the global effort to contain the spread of the Covid-19 are supposed to be in the comfort of their homes joining billions worldwide in observing Luzon-wide community quarantine.
Since the declaration by the President of the state of public health emergency due to the unabated spread and increasing cases of the Covid-19, the frontliners, led by medical workers and healthcare professionals from the public and private sectors, are working beyond the call of duty to serve those needing medical attention. There are also the police and military personnel at the frontline to maintain peace and order.
Despite the real threat posed by the Covid-19, these frontliners continue to report for work notwithstanding the risks they face as they painstakingly continue to help patients suffering from various illnesses and monitoring possible carriers of the Covid-19. Out in the field meanwhile are those in the armed service manning checkpoints and enforcing lockdowns and mandatory quarantine.
The lack of personal protective equipment has not dampened their spirits to readily serve the public in the face of this global health crisis. Even more, they feel how their families worry for their health and safety while on duty. Frontliners include barangay officials, those working in pharmacies, the food industry, public utilities and telecommunications, business process outsourcing, business establishments, social workers, security guards, among other workers exempted from the lockdown or the enhanced quarantine order.
With the risks they face, we call on corporations, groups, and individuals to reach out to our frontliners and see to their needs. We too have a part to play. We can begin by providing PPEs, thermal scanners, shuttle services, alcohol, sanitizers as there is a shortage of these bare necessities in the performance of their heroic efforts to take care of us.
Given their sacrifices in this time of crisis, we are one in pushing for the long-time clamor for government to increase the salaries and improve the benefits of health workers who face just as much hazards as the armed forces, especially in difficult times such as what we are encountering now.
There is a basis for this clamor which is Republic Act 7305 that says: Magna Carta of Public Health Workers, Doctors, Nurses, and other Health Workers in the Public Sector, whose work exposes them to danger, occupational risks and peril of life must receive an additional hazard pay which can be much as 25 percent of their monthly basic salary. President Rodrigo Duterte has assured the nation there are enough funds to fight the Covid-19. Perhaps part of this fund can go to fulfilling RA 7305.
Going online are health workers holding placards saying: We take care of you. Take care of us by staying home. That’s an urgent plea from frontliners who are doing their job 24/7, and the public must also do their part to help them and the government in preventing the spread of the Covid-19 by strictly heeding the order to stay home in strict compliance with the enhanced community quarantine. Again, stay home.
The threat is real. Given the current number of the Covid-19 cases in the country, a senior health official has forecasted that the cases may peak from 70,000 to 75,000 cases within three months based on modeling forecasts.
Globally, the Covid-19 has infected over 180,000 people in 159 countries and territories as of March 20, and the figure keeps increasing despite global efforts to prevent the spread of the disease with the frontliners bracing themselves for more risks and challenges ahead.
The virus is spreading at a treacherous pace, and our frontliners are valiantly trying to beat it. They deserve our utmost gratitude and our prayers. Let us take care of them, too.