Thousands of Biliranons avail of caravan services
by Flor Jackson
Naval, Biliran (February 29) -- A huge crowd of Biliranons trooped today to the Naval Institute of Technology (NIT) gymnasium and its premises to avail of the one-stop-shop services and medical and dental mission brought in by the People's Government Mobile Action (PGMA) caravan through the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) in coordination with the provincial government of Biliran, the national government agencies (NGAs), the non-government organizations (NGOs) and other groups.
The activity was started with an 8:00 o'clock mass officiated by Msgr. Filomeno Bactol, Bishop of Naval this morning at the NIT gymn.
The holy mass was immediately followed by a short program.
In his welcome message, Dr. Getolio Solite, Sangguniang Panlalawigan member of Biliran who is also a medical doctor by profession who spoke in behalf of Vice-Governor Lucila Curso said that the Biliranons have everything to be thankful to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for bringing in the PGMA Caravan especially the patients who underwent harelip and cleft palate operation as they were able to avail the service for free and was saved from spending P35,000 or more if they sought treatment in a private hospital.
He likewise thanked the regional directors of the different NGAs for their participation in this big event here in Biliran.
Later during the program, Joseph Sibangan of PAGCOR announced the rationale of the PGMA caravan saying that this particular project of President Arroyo is an all-encompassing effort which gathers the socio-civic and development projects of several key government agencies in cooperation with the local government units, the private sectors and other non-government groups.
He added that the PGMA caravan addresses the vital concerns that affect the day-to-day life of every Filipino like food and nutrition, livelihood, peace and order, health, community development and basic infrasturctures.
He informed that the caravan is held in different barangays of the National Capital Region (NCR) where there is a high concentration of urban poor families and in the 10 priority provinces in the Philippines.
Mr. Sibangan said that the PGMA caravan aims to bring the government services, programs and projects nearer to the constituents. Likewise, it aims to make available the socio-civic and development projects of several key government agencies through a one-stop-shop concept.
Moreover, he said, that the PGMA caravan provides a venue for surgical outreach program that will cater to the poor patients with medical disorder in the local government units who need immediate surgical medical and dental treatments.
He reported that the medical and dental missions conducted in the two barangays of Kawayan town was able to serve some 188 dental patients and 912 medical patients or a total of 1,100 patients while in the muncipality of Caibiran, some 2,083 medical patients were served while 326 residents availed of the dental services bringing the total of patients served to 2,409.
For the surgical mission update, he informed that some 116 patients underwent minor surgery while 48 patients were operated on for harelip and 290 patients underwent eye surgery for cataract and pteridium and 94 patients availed of the ECG services at the Biliran Provincial Hospital (BPH).
He said, the number of patients who will undergo surgery will still increase as the surgical mission comes to a close tonight.
Alton Durano, Administrative Officer of the BPH bared that some 70 doctors, nurses, medical technologists and other medical personnel came to Biliran province to assist in the medical mission in Kawayan and Caibiran towns and in today's medical and dental mission at the NIT compound.
The DOH regional office sent doctors and medical staff from the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City to assist in the medical missions.
As Leyte Province's contribution and help to the province of Biliran, Leyte Governor Jericho "Icot" Petilla sent doctors, nurses and other medical staff from the Leyte Provincial Hospital also in Tacloban to likewise assist in the medical and dental mission here.
Hon. Remedios "Matin" Petilla in her message, said, she brought the greetings of President Arroyo to the people of Biliran. "President Arroyo hopes the caravan will be more productive and will truly help the poor people of Biliran", she added.
"I thank everyone, the clergy, Governor Espina and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members, NIT President Edita Genson for the venue, all the mayors, the national government agencies through the respective regional directors, the surgeons, and the medical staff for making the PGMA Caravan in Biliran a resounding succeess", she said.
For his part, Gov. Roger Espina thanked President Arroyo for bringing the PGMA caravan here in Biliran through PAGCOR.
"I hope the PGMA caravan will come back to Biliran", he said.
Gov. Espina ended his message by saying "We are grateful to you Madame President for your help".
The whole day today, the NGAs, the provincial government of Biliran and other groups will continue extending their services to the Biliranons through the one-stop-shop at the NIT compound.
Each agency is provided a tent where they can comfortably serve their clients. (PIA-Biliran) [top]