President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Sunday paid tribute to the heroism of Filipino health workers in the United States who were credited for bravely confronting COVID-19’s early onslaught two years ago, saying their sacrifices will not be in vain.
“I can promise you that this heroism of yours, of our kababayans will not fade into obscurity. Their legacy we will make live on as they continue to inspire our kababayans to show the world what it means to truly be Filipino,” said Marcos in a speech during a meeting with the Filipino community in New Jersey.
“Sa gitna ng trahedya kayo ang naging haligi ng pag-asa, kayo ang bagong bayaning Pilipino. Maraming, maraming salamat muli sa inyong serbisyo at sa inyong sakripisyo.”
In New York, which was the epicenter of the pandemic when it first broke out in the spring of 2020, many Filipino health workers lost their lives while fulfilling their oath to care for the sick, the President said.
He extended his condolences to the grieving families and friends of the Filipino healthcare workers who died during the pandemic.
Filipino nurses make up four percent of all registered nurses in the United States, and a third of more than 200 nurses who died from the virus were Filipinos.
In New York City alone, at least 30 Filipino healthcare workers succumbed to the virus.
Dr. Rommel Rivera, President of the Association of Filipino Physicians in America, was elated by the President’s recognition of Filipino healthcare workers in the US.
“It (the speech) is very inspiring. And I am very grateful that the President mentioned Filipino frontliners, nurses, and doctors like me,” Rivera said in an interview.
“He acknowledged, he named us doctors as part of giving gratitude to all the healthcare workers here in America.”
The President mentioning the mortality of Filipino nurses in the US means he really cares about health workers abroad, according to the Philadelphia-based Filipino doctor.
“He knows the statistics so I am very inspired by that.”
Rivera said he traveled to New Jersey to witness the President’s first visit to the US, noting its importance, and he doesn’t want to miss it. (PND)