To recognize the countless heroism and self-compassion of medical workers in the Philippines amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte, through Proclamation 976, declared 2020 as the “Year of Filipino Health Workers.”
On July 6, the President signed Proclamation 976 as he noted that the Covid-19 crisis has posed an incredible challenge to the country’s health sector.
“There is a need to commemorate the immeasurable acts of heroism and selfless compassion of nurses, midwives, and all health workers, and give due honor to those who sacrificed their lives in the line of service, especially during this extraordinary time,” he said in the proclamation.
In light of this, the Department of Health (DOH) is tasked to lead, coordinate, and supervise the nationwide observance of the Year of Filipino Health Workers.
All other government agencies and instrumentalities, including government-owned or -controlled corporations and state universities and colleges, are directed to assist DOH in implementing Proclamation 976.
Further, all local government units, business communities, relevant civil society groups, and professional organizations are likewise enjoined to participate and support the DOH to ensure the effective implementation of the proclamation.
Proclamation 976 also encourages all national and local publications, television networks, and radio stations to promote awareness and generate public support for the programs and activities relative to the celebration of the Year of Filipino Health Workers.
“The State recognizes the invaluable contributions of nurses, midwives, and all other health workers, as the backbone of the country’s health system, whether in promoting health consciousness, performing essential medical and health services, or responding to health crises in various situations,” the order read.
“Thousands of Filipino health workers, who comprise a major component of the nation’s labor force, selflessly and tirelessly provide essential, quality, and critical care to individuals, families, and groups, even in the face of great peril, fear, uncertainty, and vulnerability,” it added.