Senate lauds Filipino health worker for bagging UK’s George Cross medal

The Senate has adopted a resolution honoring Filipino-British nurse May Richell A. Cestina-Parsons for bagging the prestigious George Cross Award from the British government.

Senate Resolution No. 320, introduced by Sen. Imee Marcos was unanimously adopted by the Upper Chamber on Wednesday, December 7, taking into consideration, Senate Resolution No. 347, introduced by Sen. Grace Poe.

The resolution primarily recognizes the honor she brought to the country and fellow Filipino healthcare workers who were at the forefront of the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

All members of the Senate were made co-authors of the adopted resolution. Cestina-Parsons received the copy during Wednesday’s session.

Cestina-Parsons is globally known for historically administering the very first COVID-19 vaccine to a patient outside of a clinical trial.

She received the prestigious George Cross Award on July 12, 2022, from the late Queen Elizabeth II and now King Charles III, in behalf of UK's National Health Service (NHS) 1.5 million health care workers.

“Working in the healthcare industry, especially during the coronavirus pandemic, was very tough and challenging. Certainly, her strong Filipino values helped her get through these challenges,” the Senate resolution read.

The George Cross Award is considered the highest award bestowed to civilians by the Windsor Castle. It was given in honor of the NHS staff's “courage, compassion, dedication and bravery despite personal dangers.”

This was only the third time the George Cross was given in its 74 years of conferment.

Marcos, in her sponsorship speech, acknowledged Cestina-Parson's contribution to the Philippine nursing and healthcare sector.

“It is with great pride and honor that we welcome her today in the Senate for extraordinary bravery and heroism in a time of great global danger. You have truly made the Philippines and all Filipinos very proud,” Marcos said.