Chests will be cut and blood dripping to save the ill and suffering in a July heart mission that gives the historic treaty of friendship, Sandugo, a humanitarian meaning—compact of life.
At least 42 heart patients have enlisted to avail of the free operation mainly sponsored by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) under Chairman Erineo Maliksi and General Manager Jose Ferdinand Rojas II and Bohol provincial government under Gov. Edgar Chatto and Vice Gov. Concepcion Lim.
The Philippine Gift of Life (PGL), along with the US-based Home Reach Foundation (HRF), has facilitated the massive heart surgery to be performed by Manila-based expert surgeons at the Borja Family Hospital here on July 18-25.
The HRF is led by chairman Dr. Teofilo Recitas and co-chairman Dr. Ranmie Cadag, both based in the US, who are also PGL director and chairman, recpectively.
Dr. Ludgerio Torreas, president of the Heart Foundation of the Philippines (HFP) and chief consultant to the PGL, will have experts and specialists led by thoracic surgeon Dr. Federico Malubay performing the mission.
The mission is considered a humanitarian highlight of the month-long Bohol festivities celebrating the Sandugo, a treaty of friendship executed between Spanish explorer Miguel Lopez de Legazpi and native chieftain Datu Sikatuna in 1565.
A historical account said the two cut their wrists, poured their blood into a cup filled with wine and drank from it in the sealing of the friendly covenant that is also now known as the Blood Compact.
PGL President/Chief Executive Officer Francisca Baluyot said the Tagbilaran City government led by Mayor John Geesnell Yap II and Vice Mayor Jose Antonio Veloso, PCSO-Bohol field officer Bobby Cinco are equally responsible for the mission.
The surgical team will also have Drs. Bernadette Ascueta, Virginia Mapala, Chito Permejo, Cornell Tungol, Julia Maape, Belinda dela Rosa, who is the HFP executive director, and Kazan Baluyot, himself a son of the PGL president.
The 42 patients with different heart ailments or defects will undergo final screening at the Borja Family Hospital on June 27-28.
Thru Drs. Pepe Borja and Melinda Borja, the hospital already hosted different missions, not just heart operations, in the past as facilitated too, by the PGL and HRF and sponsored by the province.
Since 1995, the PGL and its partners have already rendered free heart operations, all done in Bohol, to 550 individuals, who included the critically sick poor from other provinces.
The humanitarian foundation icon had also sent critical patients, all children of tender ages, to the US and Canada hospitals where they got successful operations.
In fact, all PGL surgical, medical and dental mission beneficiaries already numbering over 40,000 individuals, including the recipients of free medicines and other services, across 20 years of humanitarian works will be given tribute at the Bohol Cultural center on July 5.
Rotary Club of Tagbilaran Assistant Governor Louella Bantol and City Administrator Leonides Borja will present the beneficiaries, who will be represented by 300 select recipients on account of the limited venue and time.
The upcoming heart mission has likewise the support of the Tagbilaran Rotarians led by their president, City Councilor Nerio Zamora II.
Baluyot acknowledged, too, the consistent support of the Department of Health (DOH), such capitol officials as Provincial Administrator Alfonso Damalerio II and the members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, and all others in both public and private sectors. (Ven rebo Arigo)