Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Brother John R. Castriciones recently honored the two batches of DAR modern heroes, who were deployed to serve in mega swabbing center sites in Metro Manila and Bulacan to boost the country’s capability and capacity for mass testing for Covid-19.
“I would like to congratulate, recognize and put you as a pedestal to show to the world that there are still people who can give love, share, and sacrifice,” Brother John said during a simple ceremony held at the DAR gymnasium on November 9, 2020.
Brother John said there are two kinds of heroes we have today, the first heroes are those who are willing to sacrifice their health, themselves and their lives, knowing fully well that they are actually exposing themselves to the virus, just so they would be able to help other people.
“This kind of sacrifice is defined as heroism; I would also want to recognize another set of heroes. Those who are willing to share their resources, so that others would be able to live comfortably,” he said.
Brother John awarded the DAR Sertipiko ng Pagpupugay which states “Para sa kanilang malugod at masigasig na paglilingkod sa bayan sa pamamagitan ng kusang loob na pagsisilbi sa mega swabbing operations ng pamahalaan bilang pagtugon sa pandemyang Covid-19.”
During the event, Brother John also presented the Certificates of Appreciation awarded by the Office of the President which partly states “in recognition of their contribution, exemplary-dedication, proven selflessness, and invaluable service rendered as front liners in the government’s effort against the Covid-19 pandemic and ensuring that we heal as one”.
Volunteer Jasper Jay A. Tiaga, Administrative Staff Support from the Presidential Agrarian Reform Council (PARC) Secretariat, said most of the DAR volunteers were excited to join the mega swabbing operations. But they were reluctant at first, because of the fear of exposure to the virus. After their assignments, they all expressed satisfaction with the way they were treated during the operations. They are also very thankful for the challenges they have experienced of being able to help fellow Filipinos, which he said they will treasure for the rest of their lives.
The DAR first batch of modern heroes are: Ariel Garcia, Ricardo Layug Jr., Nichole John O. Uson, Jerryjone Eco, Jasper Jay A. Tiaga and Joshua D. Talan, who were assigned separately as non-medical support staff from May 12 to June 16, 2020, in Philippine Arena, Sta. Mesa, and Bulacan swabbing centers to cater to arriving overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
The DAR second batch modern heroes were: Marcio Cyril O. Emprese, Kenneth P. Soriano, Jamaica V. Castillo, Jeswel B. Rebato and Melvin B. Cellacay II, who were assigned to assist as non-medical support staff from June 3 to July 3, 2020, in Palacio de Manila for OFWs and various local government units (LGUs).
The DAR earlier issued Memorandum No. 164 dated May 2, 2020 providing the lists of DAR personnel who will assist in the Mega Swabbing Centers for Covid-19.