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PIA Press Release

Ifugao State University, OFPHIL, and PLGU strengthen ties to advance operation of Ifugao's new Eye Center

By Jeremy M. Gawongna

Lamut, Ifugao (5 February) -- Responding to the alarming high incidence of blindness in Ifugao, the Ifugao State University (IFSU), the Ophthalmological Foundation of the Philippines (OFPHIL), and the Provincial Local Government Unit (PLGU) reinforced their partnership to advance the operation of the IFSU ? OFPHIL Eye Center at IFSU-Potia Campus.

The Restoring Sight International (RSI) headed by Dr. Felipe Tolentino will subsidize the said center for the first few years.

RSI aims to have it approved by PhilHealth in order to sustain its undertaking as a modern and comprehensive eye care surgical facility. This is its first eye center outside Metro Manila benefitting the local communities of Ifugao, other adjacent towns of the Cordillera, and nearby Cagayan provinces. The eye center also serves as a relevant facility to train nurses on eye "nursing" procedure.

IFSU President Dr. Serafin L. Ngohayon stressed that this is a concrete showcase of cooperation among state universities and colleges (SUCs), local government units, and private agencies.

"The Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) realized the need to sustain efforts to prevent blindness in the province, thus, Board Member Joseph Odan proposed the eye center as a recourse. Funding assistance was also extended by the PLGU for the center," Ngohayon explained.

Upon presentation of its feasibility study, IFSU offered a land area where to put up the said center. On January 26, 2009, a ground breaking ceremony was held at the proposed site for its construction.

With a funding assistance from Ifugao Congressman Solomon R. Chungalao, the construction of the building was completed and inaugurated on January 26, 2010.

As IFSU, OFPHIL and the PLGU try to sustain its operation, RSI, on the other hand, received donations of art works from a group of well-known artists in the Philippines. An art sale was then held at Manila Polo Club on Feb. 3, 2010 and the proceeds will help fund the said project.

"May this collective effort inspire other people here and abroad to be part of this social responsibility," exclaimed Ngohayon. (PIA) [top]

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