When Typhoon “Ompong” and the southwest monsoon swept through Luzon last year, incessant rains and strong winds disrupted the operations of health centers in the municipalities of Cabugao, Narvacan and Sta. Maria in the disaster-prone province of Ilocos Sur.
The calamities, as some of the strongest storms in recent memory, made it difficult for doctors, nurses and midwives to serve their constituents in their time of need.
Rooms were flooded as water leaked inside the buildings. Walls, floors and windows were broken. Medicine cabinets, furniture and fixtures were damaged. The health centers were not in the best condition to deliver patient care, as wear and tear brought the buildings into a state of disrepair.
In response, BDO Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank, rehabilitated Cabugao Rural Health Unit and Lying-in Center, Narvacan Rural Health Unit I, and Sta. Maria Rural Health Unit.
The initiative is in line with the foundation’s disaster response advocacy and commitment to help improve the healthcare delivery system in the Philippines. More than 114,000 people from 100 barangays stand to benefit from BDO Foundation’s corporate citizenship initiative in Ilocos Sur.
The rehabilitated rural health units were turned over to their respective communities in ceremonies led by BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito, BDO Foundation program director Rose Espinosa, and BDO North Western Luzon area head Apolinario Aquino, together with the heads of BDO and One Network Bank branches in Ilocos Sur.
Backed by the Region I office of the Department of Health, the foundation improved the three health centers’ layout and interior design, lobbies and waiting areas, offices, clinics, consultation rooms, treatment rooms and facilities. New furniture, fixtures and equipment were also installed.
In each health center, BDO Foundation constructed a play area for children complete with books and toys. In Narvacan, the foundation built a waiting lounge for the comfortable use of the elderly.
With rehabilitation work completed, the health workers of Cabugao, Narvacan and Sta. Maria are now better equipped to provide primary healthcare services to mothers and babies, children, senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and other patients.
According to Narvacan Rural Health Unit I municipal health officer Dr. Diana Director Lim, “On behalf of our patients and constituents, our local government and medical staff, I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to BDO Foundation.
“We feel so blessed that out of the more than 30 municipalities in Ilocos Sur, Cabugao, Narvacan and Sta. Maria were selected by the foundation as beneficiaries of its rehabilitation program. Now we can serve our patients better.”