Speaking before at least 200 Barangay Health Workers (BHW) from Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan on Tuesday, April 18, DOH-MIMAROPA Regional Director Eduardo Janairo officially recognized the role of BHWs as health front-liners and dubbed them as ‘unsung heroes.’
“Ang mga BHWs boluntaryong tumutulong, hindi humihingi ng kapalit. Kayo ang tunay na mga bayani ng Pilipinas,” he said.
In his narration of the challenges that BHWs in the country faced before the group was officially institutionalized, Janairo singled out politics as the biggest stumbling block. Nevertheless, the Director said, the ‘group’ was able to survive.
“Maganda kasi kahit napulitika, hindi na recognized ang BHW, pero hindi [kayo] namatay. Ngayong buhay na buhay na kayo pero kulang pa din sa suporta. Ang pagtulong sa inyo ng national government, kulang na kulang pa rin,” he underscored.
The regional director also stated that up to present, BHWs still experiencing ‘politicking’ at the local level, which the DOH said they cannot control from their end. Janairo nonetheless assured the health workers that the regional office are willing to extend all the possible support that they can give so BHWs can perform their voluntary functions in their respective communities.
“Kahit napupulitika kayo, ang mahalaga, masuportahan kayo ng region, hindi natin makontrol ang lokal,” he explained.
Janairo also recognized the effort of one of the BHWs, Paciano Madlay, member of Palaw’an tribe from Aribungos, Brooke’s Point, Palawan. Madlay is unable to read and write but has the heart to serve his fellows.
“Kailangan natin ng mas maraming BHW na may pusong kagaya ni Paciano. Yung handang maglingkod at hindi sumusuko,” Janairo said in an interview with the Press. Madlay is one of the Bayani ng Kalusugan Awardees in 2016 conferred by then President Benigno Simeon Aquino II.
Zenaida Pulido, National BHW Federation President, also expressed her support to the MIMAROPA group during the opening program of the 2-day Regional BHW Congress at Citystate Tower Hotel, Ermita, Manila.