Photos by Star Sabroso
Children with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities have more reason to smile following the inking of a memorandum of agreement between Colgate-Palmolive Philippines, Operation Smile Philippines and Puregold Price Club that would help raise funds for cleft surgeries, dental health checkups and fluoride treatments. The MOA signing held at the Seda Business Hotel in Bonifacio Global City coincided with the 90th anniversary of Colgate-Palmolive Philippines, which also heralded the launch of the oral care company’s nationwide year-long corporate social responsibility campaign called “Keep the Philippines Smiling.”
According to OSP country director for Development Roberto Manzano, the year-long campaign is an expansion of a long-running oral health program by Colgate Palmolive called “ Bright Smile, Bright Futures.”
The strategic partnership will make the future brighter for Filipino children and young adults who find it difficult to smile due to congenital facial deformities. Under the agreement, every Colgate participating product purchased at Puregold Stores until April 17 entitles Operation Smile Philippines to a corresponding P5 donation, with the funds to be utilized for the cost of reconstructive surgery for facial deformities.
“The company feels privileged to have this opportunity to make a meaningful impact to the community,” said Colgate-Palmolive Philippines vice president and general manager Stephen Lau.
At the launch, the company also introduced new products, among them a sugar acid neutralizer toothpaste that can reduce oral cavities by 25 percent. “We at Colgate Palmolive firmly believe that good oral health is a basic right of every citizen,” Lau shared.
The company has also partnered with the Department of Education for the implementation of its flagship corporate social responsibility program Bright Smiles, Bright Futures to promote oral health education and literacy, conducting dental screenings and providing oral care kits to students particularly those in public schools. Along with the Philippine Association of Dental Colleges, oral health projects are being implemented nationwide in the hopes that the initiative will make a difference by changing the world one smile at a time.
Under the program, free oral dental checkups and free fluoride treatments are conducted, with a fleet of two mobile dental vans staffed by volunteer dentists providing free dental screenings and education to various communities in the Philippines. Last year, over 2.3 million students benefited from the program that also has the support of parents and local government units.
Certainly, the program of Colgate-Palmolive fits in very well with the objectives of Operation Smile, a volunteer-based international medical charity organization founded by Dr. Bill Magee and his wife Kathy and has its roots in Naga, Camarines Sur when the couple flew there in 1982 to conduct the first Operation Smile mission. Since then, thousands of children have seen their lives change with the free reconstructive surgery performed by volunteer doctors and personnel in over three decades.
For more on Operation Smile Philippines, visit www.operationsmile.org.ph or follow on Facebook www.facebook.com/operationsmilephils/. You may also check out www.colgate.ph/app/BrightSmilesBrightFutures/PH/HomePage.cvsp for updates and other information on Colgate-Palmolive Philippines’ Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program.