10-member repatriation team honored

February 13, 2020

THE House of Representatives has adopted House Resolution No. 711, which honors the “heroism, courage and great compassion” of the 10-member government team that repatriated Filipinos trapped in Wuhan City in China.

House leaders Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez and Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr. authored the resolution.

The repatriation team showed great sympathy and concern to fellow Filipinos who were in Wuhan, where the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, the resolution noted.

More than 30 Filipinos, some overseas workers, were repatriated and are now quarantined in New Clark City in Tarlac.

The mercy mission group was composed of doctors and nurses from the Department of Health (DOH) and personnel from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

“These brave individuals not only answered to the call of duty, but exhibited a strong sense of compassion for our ‘kababayan’ and nationalism that motivated them to volunteer their services and expertise to undertake this critical mission,” the House leaders said.

“The heroism, courage and empathy of the 10-member team of the Philippine government for fellow Filipinos are truly remarkable, inspiring and worthy of emulation and recognition,” they added.

The repatriation mission “highlights the commitment of President Duterte’s administration to provide safe and comfortable life to Filipinos, even those overseas, in times of emergencies.”

They added that the repatriation mission was undertaken upon instructions from President Duterte.

One of those who voted in favor of the resolution, Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero, said members of the DOH-DFA team “took great risk to their own health and safety – and the health and wellbeing of their families – in undertaking the mission.”

“The heroism and selflessness demonstrated by the DOH-DFA repatriation volunteers deserve the highest praise and commendation not only by lawmakers and the country’s leaders but also by the Filipino people in general. Such acts are worthy of emulation. We should be rewarding them and other humanitarian volunteers not only with appropriate recognition but sufficient compensation as well,” Romero said.

The members of the team from the DOH, as listed in Resolution No. 711, were doctors Neptali Labasan of the Bureau of Quarantine and Oliver Macalinao of the San Lazaro General Hospital, nurses Rowel Divinagracia of the Philippine Heart Center and Jay Julian of the DOH Health Emergency Management Bureau, and medical technologist Elmer Collong also of the Philippine Heart Center.

The DFA contingent was composed of assistance-to-nationals officers Rowell Casaclang, Abdul Rahman and Richard delos Santos, and Mark Anthony Guegera and Sanny Darren Bejarin of the Philippine consulate in Shanghai.