Press Release
September 14, 2021

Tolentino wants to rename Army's medical unit corps after Josefa Llanes-Escoda

Senator Francis "Tol" Tolentino wants to rename the Philippine Army's Medical Unit Corps after Josefa Llanes-Escoda in recognition of her untiring social work during the World War II.

Tolentino issued the call as he led the Senate Committee on Local Government's hearing on the seeking to declare Sept. 20 as a special non-working holiday in the province of Ilocos Norte, to be known as Josefa Llanes-Escoda Day, in commemoration of her birth anniversary.

"Perhaps you should do more in terms of research, perhaps you should endeavor more to reach out to some other areas and my imagination is now awakened that we should have a Escoda Military Nursing Corps in the Philippine Army or an Escoda Wing in V. Luna Memorial Hospital among others," Tolentino told officials of the National Historical Commission (NHC).

Born in Dingras, Ilocos Norte, Llanes-Escoda was a prominent civic leader and a social worker during her time. Due to her untiring social work, she was dubbed as "Florence Nightingale of the Philippines."

During the World War II, she and her husband intensified their resistance against the Japanese forces by supplying medicines, foods, clothes and messages to both Filipino and American prisoners of war. Llanes-Escoda was later on executed by the Japanese Imperial Army.

Tolentino said the House Bill No. 7650 filed by Rep. Ria Christina Farinas was approved by the committee without any objection and will be referred to the plenary for further discussion.

Aside from approving the measure, Tolentino urged the NHC to put more emphasis in informing the Filipino people about Llanes-Escoda's legacy and contribution to society.

Llanes-Escoda founded the Girl Scouts of the Philippines and is also one of the co-founder of the National Federation of Women's Clubs (NFWC).

Questioning the lack of emphasis on Llanes-Escoda's achievements, Tolentino told the NHC that a street should be named after her in Manila.

"The Girl Scouts building should have been named Josefa Llanes-Escoda building. You should have coordinated with the Philippine Nursing Association for the creation of an Escoda award for outstanding nurses especially during this time of COVID-19 pandemic," said Tolentino.

The Senator also raised the possibility of putting up an Escoda Shrine in Dingras, Ilocos Norte.

"Baka makalimutan po ito eh, siya iyong Florence Nightingale of the Philippines. Sana matulungan po kami ng National Historical Commission," Tolentino stressed.

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