MANILA – The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) will look into the proposed burial of health workers who succumbed to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) in Taguig City.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, spokesperson of IATF-EID, agreed that fallen medical front-liners deserve recognition for their ultimate sacrifice to protect the people against Covid-19.
In a virtual presser on Sunday, Nograles said IATF-EID would study if there is a need to amend a law that provides for the interment of several personalities at the Heroes’ Cemetery.
“We have to review the laws kung kailangan ba ng amendment sa batas. Kung hindi naman kailangan, if it’s a policy decision lamang at kayang gawin ng IATF, then bakit hindi (If there’s no need for that, if it’s a policy decision that can be done by IATF, then why not),” he said.
On Thursday, AKO BICOL party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. suggested that Filipino health workers who died while fighting Covid-19 pandemic should be laid to rest at the Heroes’ Cemetery because of their “supreme sacrifice for love of country, loyalty to people, and devotion to their profession.”
Garbin said funeral rites at the Heroes Cemetery do not have to be done immediately as there is a rule that the remains of Covid-19 patients have to be cremated first.
Nograles said he backed Garbin’s proposal.
“Ako po, ang tawag naman natin sa kanila lagi is the real-life heroes. Sila po yung bayani ng ating bansa (For me, we always call them real-life heroes. They are the country’s heroes). So, for me, personally, I am for it,” he said.
The Department of Health (DOH) revealed Wednesday that more than 200 doctors and nurses in the country have contracted Covid-19.
According to the data from DOH, some 152 doctors and 63 nurses have been infected with Covid-19.
Twelve health workers died due to Covid-19.
The Heroes’ Cemetery, first known as Republic Memorial Cemetery, was established in 1947 to commemorate the lives of the fallen Filipino soldiers who fought in World War II.
In June 1948, the late president Elpidio Quirino signed Republic Act 289, which provides for the construction of a “national pantheon for presidents of the Philippines, national heroes, and patriots of the country.”
The late president Ramon Magsaysay then renamed the cemetery in 1954 as the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
The late Philippine presidents, national artists, scientists, dignitaries, and Armed Forces of the chiefs of staff are among those buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery. (ia/PNA)