By Ellson Quismorio
“Scholarships and lifetime pension for the surviving spouse, children, and siblings of frontliners who died (while) fighting (the) COVID-19 (outbreak) are among the appropriate expressions of gratitude our government can give,” Senior Citizen Party-List Rep. Francisco Datol Jr. said on Friday.
Datol also called for recognition for emergency health workers, proposing that they be considered for the grant of permanent civil service eligibility or deployment as school health personnel in public schools, state colleges and universities.
He deplored that nurses, doctors, medical technologists and para-medics have also been subjected to harassment as a result of people’s fears on being infected by COVID-19.
Datol said that others serving in the frontlines of the enforcement of enhanced community quarantine measures include police officers and military troopers manning checkpoints.
Datol also urged the House leadership to resume sessions as soon as possible in order to legislate more measures that would help address the pandemic.
He proposed that Congress “cut short its summer break, so that it can expeditiously tackle the second wave of measures against COVID-19 and its larger impact on our economy and society.”.
It is still unclear how Congress would function after the break especially with the new norms established during the pandemic, social distancing being one of them.
Datol is one of the co-authors of RA 11469, which gave President Duterte special powers to address the national health emergency.