(Eagle News) — Health workers who died in the fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 may be buried in Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, also the presidential legal counsel, made the remark after a congressman made the suggestion, noting the contributions and sacrifices of frontliners amid the COVID-19 crisis.
“Every Filipino frontliner who dies in this COVID-19 war deserves to be laid to rest at the Libingan ng mga Bayani because of their supreme sacrifice for love of country, loyalty to the people, and devotion to their profession,” Ako Bicol Party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. said.
According to Panelo, an Armed Forces of the Philippines regulation specified that “other deceased persons whose interment or re-interment has been approved by the commander-in-chief, Congress, or the Secretary of National Defense” are qualified to be interred in the Taguig cemetery.
“In addition, since the listing of those who may be interred in the LNMB was only made through an AFP Guideline, then the same may be amended through a mere executive issuance, to include the said frontliners,” Panelo said.
So far, at least 21 medical workers have died while fighting the virus.
The Department of Health said over 200 health workers have tested positive for COVID-19, 25 percent of whom are nurses.
The Bayanihan We Heal As One Act approved by Congress mandates a P1 million compensation for each health worker who contracted COVID-19 in the line of duty and died.
Those who contracted the infection in the fight against the disease will receive P100,000 under the law.
Earlier, the Palace urged the public to thank the country’s frontliners, including medical workers, for their heroism and sacrifices.
On the Day of Valor, the Office of the Civil Defense called the country’s frontliners, together with COVID-19 patients and the ordinary Filipino staying at home, modern-day heroes.
The OCD also lauded World War II veterans.