Ilocos Sur gov’t pays tribute to frontliners’ selflessness, bravery

VIGAN CITY — The provincial government of Ilocos Sur (PGIS), headed by Governor Ryan Luis Singson, conducted a mass salute for all frontliners in the province to pay tribute to their selflessness and bravery to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

It was held in front of the Ilocos Sur Provincial Hospital-Gabriela Silang (ISPH-GS) here on Friday afternoon.  

In behalf of the people of Ilocos Sur, Gov. Singson and other officials of the provincial government, along with the officers of the Ilocos Sur Police Provincial Office and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), stood in front of the health workers in the province and saluted them to convey the gratitude in every Ilocos Surian’s heart.

“To our dearest men and women in the frontlines and in every level of defense, the Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, AFP and the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) who endure the heat, the rain, and the hostilities in the borders, the public health officers, our drivers and helpers, who brave the exposure in the communities and the long travels, our medical technologists, radiology technologists, pharmacists, nursing body, doctors, even guards and utility men, who know no fear in the execution of their duties to protect us,” Gov. Singson said.

During his speech, Gov. Singson thanked the frontliners for choosing to share their skills and knowledge, that even if they could have opted to stay home, they faced all risks when their families also needed them.

“It is your selflessness and bravery that has changed our perceptions in life, rest assured your provincial government is also working hard to strengthen our capacity to face the challenges that may come in the days or weeks in the bid to keep our community safe in order that your families and loved ones are safe from COVID-19 while you are on the frontline,” he said.

Health workers from the ISPH-GS and other district hospitals in the province gathered in front of the said hospital to accept the salute.

Oreo Singson Dela Fuente, ER nurse supervisor at the ISPH-GS, said that he will always remember this moment, simple as it may seem, he felt the support from the provincial government, which was enough to relieve the weariness he has felt for the past months fighting the COVID-19. 

“Aaminin ko medyo nakakaramdam na rin ako ng burn out, pero ‘yung moment kanina that inspired me to do better pa in my line of work. The provincial government has been ensuring our safety as frontline health care providers, never have I felt unsafe during my duty kasi they provide us personal protective equipment. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the PGIS headed by our beloved Governor Ryan Luis Singson who is also our ‘inspirasyon nga agserbi’,” he said.

Representing the health workers from the ISPH-GS and other district hospitals, ISPH-GS Chief Dr. Trina Tabboga-Talaga stated that even if they have been receiving discrimination complaints from her co-health workers, they stayed and still stand in the frontline to fight the virus.

“Lahat ng medical professionals ay may sinumpaang tungkulin. Pero kapag ganito na alam mong may risks sa health mo, you have the right to say NO. Kaya talagang sinasaluduhan natin ‘yung mga andito kasi meron ng mga umalis na mas piniling maging safe and these are the people who opted to stay,” she said.

To date, Ilocos Sur has two COVID-19 active cases admitted at the ISPH-GS.

Aside from the salute, frontliners in the province of Ilocos Sur received incentives from the provincial government.