SENATOR and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health Christopher “Bong” Go welcomed the conferment of the Order of Lapu-Lapu to honor medical frontliners of the Philippine General Hospital who responded bravely during a fire incident in the health facility last month.
After the incident, Go immediately recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte to officially recognize and honor the acts of the health workers who put their lives on the line to save lives of others in PGH.
“Dahil sa ipinamalas nilang tapang at malasakit sa kapwa, nararapat lamang po na gawaran ng parangal ang medical frontliners bilang pagkilala sa kanilang kabayanihan,” he said.
“Nawa’y magsilbing halimbawa sila sa ating mga mamamayan upang ipagpatuloy ang ating bayanihan,” he added.
Among those who received the said recognition from the President in Malacañang on June 2 were Kathrina Bianca C. Macababbad, Esmeralda E. Ninto, Phoebe Rose C. Malabanan, and Jomar T. Mallari. They are nurses of the PGH’s neonatal intensive care unit who led the evacuation of patients and newborn babies as fire razed the facility last month.
Nurse Quintin P. Bagay Jr.; PGH residents Dr. Alexandra P. Lee and Dr. Earle Ceo D. Abrenica; and safety officers Joel L. Santiago and Ramil Ranoa were also among the PGH personnel who received the award.
The Order of Lapu-Lapu is a national order of merit conferred by the President to those who show extraordinary service or contribution to the Philippines.
Earlier, Go filed a Senate resolution commending and honoring the medical staff of the PGH. In Senate Resolution No. 733 which he filed on Monday, May 24, Go underscored the courage of the dedicated staff and medical personnel of the PGH who were responsible for the safe and orderly evacuation of their patients, including the infants hospitalized at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the said facility.
“During the fire breakout, the staff and nurses of the PGH ignored personal safety and put their lives at stake to save their patients,” Go stated in the resolution.
“The immediate response of the medical staff and personnel of the PGH should be truly commended and honored for they have shown … courage and heroism despite the recent fire incident and amid the ongoing health crisis,” he continued.
To show his solidarity, Go’s personnel also visited and provided aid to the indigent patients currently admitted at PGH, some of whom were temporarily received by the Sta. Ana Hospital, in the city of Manila on Friday, May 21. They distributed food packs, vitamins, masks and face shields to a total of 44 patients.
In an earlier interview, the Senator vowed to do everything possible to ensure the hospital operations remain unhampered and damages caused by the fire are repaired immediately.
Go also mentioned that he is willing to assist in providing a higher budget for the hospital next year to build back better what has been destroyed by the fire.
“Handa kaming tumugon agad sa karagdagang budget kung kakailanganin agad for next year, lalo na sa infrastructure na nasira. Ngayong taon na ito kung ano ang kailangang i-address agad ang mga equipment na kailangan handa tayong tumulong,” Go said.