Actress and philanthropist Angel Locsin recently took to Instagram to share a heartfelt message for medical frontliners. The number of COVID-19 cases logged in the Philippines has passed two million and hospitals and medical staff are overwhelmed. More than a hundred health workers have passed away from the virus.
Angel's post reads: "To those who can't go [and] console family [and] friends fighting their battles alone. I feel you. I wish for you to overcome whatever it is you are going through. This crisis has made me realize that the world can work without politicians, businessmen, police, and even without actors like me. But the world can never work without health workers. Again, thank you for all that you do. Sending everyone strength, hope, and love."
Angel has been active in defending medical frontliners and thanking them on social media. In August 2020, she penned an open letter to them that reads: "Patawad kung minsan ay pasaway. Ngunit nais iparating, kakampi niyo kami, health workers. Magdo-doble ingat para sa makagaan sa pasanin kahit paano. 'Wag sanang panghinaan and inyong loob. Mahal namin kayo. Naka-suporta kami sa inyo. Kailangan namin kayo. [Kayo ang] mga bayani sa giyerang 'to. Maraming salamat sa sakripisyo para sa amin."
Filipino healthcare frontliners staged several protests in August and September 2021 to demand the resignation of DOH Secretary Francisco Duque and ask for their unpaid benefits (risk allowances and hazard pay).
"It is sad that many of us have died, many of us became sick, and many have resigned or opted to retire early, yet we are still kneeling before the DOH to give us our benefits," said Robert Mendoza, president of the Alliance of Health Workers, in a September 2 article from reportr.world. A nurse named Nico Oba also said: "The government promised it will give the benefits today but up to now, it has not. I pity us because we are the ones begging."