As the country continues to battle with the COVID-19 pandemic, President Rodrigo Duterte has declared 2020 as the “Year of Filipino Health Workers” to honor frontliners and workers in the medical field.

In Proclamation No. 976, Duterte said the government recognized the “invaluable contributions” of Filipino health workers whose hard work and dedication “have led to the saving of countless lives.”

The medical workers’ efforts were “the backbone of the country’s health system,” the proclamation said.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on May 24 of last year declared 2020 as the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

“As one of the member states of the WHO, [the Philippines] supports the declaration and adopts the call to honor and celebrate all nurses, midwives and other health workers,” the proclamation, signed on July 6, stated.

“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,” it added.

Duterte tasked the Department of Health to lead, coordinate and supervise the nationwide observance of the Year of the Filipino Health Workers.

The president has also signed Proclamation 971 which declares the second week of July every year as the “National Infection Prevention and Control Week” and every second Saturday of July as the “Surgical Infection Prevention Awareness Day.”

As of July 10, 52,914 Covid-19 cases have been recorded in the country. John Ezekiel J. Hirro