Congress must pass the Health Workers Day immediately

The Senate last week passed on third and final reading Senate Bill 1972 proclaiming May 7 as Health Workers Day. We in Bayan Muna applaud this development and thank the Senate for this service to our nation’s doctors, nurses and other health professionals.

Bayan Muna Rep. Satur C. Ocampo is the principal author of House Bill 2122, which also seeks to give May 7 to our nation’s health workers. The Senate’s passage of SB 1972 should compel the House of Representatives to finally tackle the bill which has remained in the archives of the House Committee on Revision of Laws.

Tens of thousands of our health workers have left the country, mainly because of the lack of opportunities, low pay and lack of recognition for their important role in keeping the people fit.

The enaction into law of the bill will signify our country’s debt of gratitude for these professionals, especially those who remain in the Philippines and work for the poorest of the poor inspite of the scandalous conditions. It seeks to inspire the next generation of health workers to live up to their oaths and offer their very best to the Filipino people.

Quoting from a statement from an activist health workers’ group, Speaker Jose de Venecia should have himself treated for the deadly Charter Change fever. One antidote is for him to lend his ears to the health workers and give their due.

The House should waste no time. It must take on HB 2122 and pass it. Mrs. Arroyo would do the nation some good by enacting it into law as soon as JDV’s House passes it.

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