By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki
The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said that the government must continually improve health service delivery, especially in far-flung, rural areas in the country.
CHR Spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia said that every Filipino deserves to achieve the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. This means access to medical services, proper sanitation, adequate food and nutrition, decent housing, and a safe and healthy environment.
Since the country is currently dealing with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, de Guia said government must prioritize pending bills in Congress that pertain to better protection of barangay health workers and improved health care systems in cultural and indigenous communities.
The CHR also emphasized the need to invest in healthcare workers, who are considered the “heart” of all healthcare systems.
“The sacrifices of our doctors and other healthcare professionals, especially those who have fallen fighting the virus, will be rendered meaningless if we cannot adequately support them in this critical time – this includes providing better, adequate facilities and personal protective equipment, and even prioritizing them for COVID-19 screenings,” she said.
De Guia added that regular citizens could also serve as the first line of defense against the spread of the virus by simply staying home and being mindful of proper hygiene and sanitation, such as constant washing of hands.