BDO and SM renovate health centers
MANILA, Philippines—The fifth health center renovated by the joint efforts of SM and BDO Foundation was recently inaugurated and turned over in Cabanatuan City to local government officials.
The San Josef Norte Health Center, refurbished and provided with a doctors’ consultation room, dental clinic, nurses’ room, pharmacy and a reception area serves 15 barangays (Norte, Sur, Sumacab Note & Sur, Bonifacio, Isla, Pagas, Vihandre, Zubreta, Daan Sarile, Capitan Pepe, Cruz Roja, Valdefuente, Obrero and Vitas) with a total population of 62,800. This center was chosen since Central Luzon, especially Cabanatuan City, was hit by Typhoon “Santi” last year. Its inauguration follows closely that of the San Jose Birthing Station 3 & San Jose Main Health Center in San Fernando, Pampanga, the fourth health center to be jointly renovated by the two foundations.
The inauguration and blessing of the renovated two-story edifice was graced by BDOF President Maureen Abelardo and SMFI Exec. Director for Health & Medical Services Connie Angeles and the local government unit represented by Cabanatuan City Mayor Julius Caesar Vergara and City Health Officer Dr. Gilbert Embuscado, BDO Branch Managers in Cabanatuan area as well as LGU’s officials also attended the inaugural ceremonies.
The refurbished center also has a Felicidad Sy Center for Senior Citizens where seniors can converge and hold activities to be productive even in their twilight years. A play area for children, called the Felicidad Sy Activity Center is provided for children while awaiting consultations and treatment.
A mandate of the State provided for in the Constitution is the promotion of the health of the people, instilling health consciousness. Specifically, the Constitution provides that “an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development that will make essential goods, health services and other social services available” shall be adopted.
Health services in the country are delivered by both government and the private sector. Despite the existence of private healthcare service providers & due to budgetary constraints, many still prefer the public hospitals and clinics.
Recognizing the importance of the barangay health center to the community and in pursuit of its health advocacy, SM Foundation in 2007 launched its Adopt-a-Barangay Health Center project. This project meets the foundation’s objective of taking care of communities near SM malls by providing sustainable health care with competent and dedicated service providers. BDO Foundation shares the same advocacy of helping provide health care to the needy communities.
Other health centers renovated in partnership with BDO Foundation are: San Juan Health Center in Bacolod, Tagum City Main Health Center; and Buenlag Main Health Center in Calasiao, Pangasinan.
These renovated health centers are provided with basic medical equipment and medicines for common ailments. The health center’s personnel undergo regular training with the Department of Health to keep them abreast of recent development in health care. The foundation’s assistance to the LGUs does not end with the turnover, it goes beyond—SM is committed to conduct periodic maintenance visits, repair them as the need arises and upgrade donated equipment.
As SM patriarch and Foundation Chair Henry Sy Sr. says, “SM has the unique opportunity to create a more positive environment, to help build and improve the lives of those with scarce resources.”