The Philippine government lifts the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in major places in the country effective the 1st of May 2020. This means that people living in those areas now under ‘General Community Quarantine’ can go back to work. However, everyone should still observe physical distancing as prescribed on the Inter-Agency Task Force guidelines.
The timing of the lifting of the ECQ in some areas in the Philippines makes it special as it coincidentally falls on the day of the celebration of Labor Day.
Labor Day, as widely celebrated around the world, is dedicated to all working class and laborers who play as one of main drivers of the economy.
As much as I would like to cover all types of workers in this article, I am dedicating this piece to our frontliners who are not on a holiday but instead, are continuously working to fight COVID-19 in the country.
Our doctors, nurses and hospital staff are giving their best to treat all patients especially those who contracted COVID-19. They are pleading for everyone to stay home to avoid further increase of COVID-19 cases in the country.
Military, Police, Security Personnel
Military, Police, Fire Fighters, Security Personnel and Rescue teams are working together to ensure peace and order in the community. They are also limiting the movement of people outside of their homes to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Aside from that, they are here to assist in case of emergencies.
Our farmers, fishermen, and everyone in the agriculture sector provide sources of food and raw materials to non-agricultural sectors. In trying times like this, they provide our basic needs like food and clothing.
Market and Store Personnel
Our cashiers, merchandizers in supermarkets, and our “suki” in the wet market serve to ensure that there are food that we can cook at home.
Food Delivery Drivers
Grab and Food Panda drivers who patiently queues on our behalf to order food in open restaurants. And then they deliver food right at our doorsteps so we don’t necessarily have to go out.
Street Sweepers / Garbage Collectors
The street sweepers and garbage collectors play a crucial role in maintaining the cleanliness of our community.
There are a lot of frontliners who are sacrificing their lives in order to serve the Filipino people. It is tough as they are exposed to possible infections and have a higher risk of contracting the virus.
The most difficult part is that they oftentimes need to also quarantine themselves, leaving them no opportunity to be with their families and loved ones. This means no hugs, no kisses and no pat on the back at this time when their strength may be getting weary and their best constantly put to the test. Indeed, a very tough situation for them.
So dear frontliners, let me say this…
We will be forever grateful for your service and sacrifice.
Thank you for helping our nation.
You are our modern heroes.
We salute you.