Press Release
January 31, 2022

Senate Bill No. 2421:

Before anything else, I would like to congratulate the Sponsor of Senate Bill No. 2421, or the COVID-19 Benefits and Allowances for Health Workers Act of 2022. The approval of this bill on third reading is certainly another proof of our tireless attempt to give gratitude, through compensation, to the country's pandemic heroes.

In a world already beset with countless problems, the emergence of the COVID-19 disease certainly came as an unwanted surprise. And yet, so many of our fellow Filipinos were brave enough to rise to the occasion, placing their own lives at risk to help manage the pandemic and all that came with it. Through adversity, a new word was added to our lexicon, a word that became synonymous with selflessness. 'Frontliners,' as we have come to call them. But to put it plainly and simply, they are heroes, Mr. President.

Today's passage of this bill is about these frontliners. Their hard work and sacrifices are noble, and stories about them have raked in so many likes and shares not only on social media but in real life. Time and again, they have been dubbed as 'modern-day heroes', at war with an invisible opponent.

But then again, as expressed in the lyrics of the song "The Warrior is A Child,": Lately, I've been winning battles, left and right. But even winners can get wounded in the fight...' And indeed, there have been so many wounds, Mr. President. The wound of not seeing their loved ones for weeks and months. The wound of testing positive for COVID-19, again and again. The wound of sleepless nights and restless days. Far too many wounds.

And so today, the approval of Senate Bill No. 2421 on Third Reading is the Senate's way of helping tend to the wounds of our frontliners. In the end, a genuine act of gratitude to our heroes is to show them that they can rely on us, to ensure that they receive the compensation and benefits they deserve. Here's to healing, Mr. President.

To end, let's honor and extend our utmost gratitude to every health worker who has served and who continues to serve relentlessly during this pandemic, not only today, but every day for the rest of our healthy lives. To all health workers, thank you for your service!

A snappy salute to all medical frontliners! Maraming salamat po!

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