PCSO holds medical mission in remote Negros Oriental village
September 11, 2009 11:04 am
DUMAGUETE CITY, Sept. 10 – Local government officials of Siaton in Negros Oriental and the Philippine Army have lauded the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) for choosing the remote village of Casalaan as its beneficiary in the province for its nationwide medical, dental and feeding mission.
The PCSO, led by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, recently launched its nationwide charity operation, touted to be the biggest medical mission in history, as part of its 75th anniversary celebration.
The program, linking up with local government units, targets 41,000 barangays in 2,000 sites across the nation for its one-day medical, dental and feeding program.
Casalaan, so far, has been identified as the sole site in Negros Oriental for the PCSO’s nationwide outreach program.
Vice-Mayor Roel Gabo of Siaton said the local government and the 79th Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army based in that town have also pitched in to make the humanitarian mission a success.
The PCSO alone has handed free medicines for at least 200 target beneficiaries from Casalaan, the biggest village in Siaton in terms of land area.
Casalaan, about 20 kilometers upland from the national highway, is almost inaccessible although a portion of the road leading to the said village is also now being rehabilitated by the 53rd Army Engineers Brigade under the President’s Kalayaan Barangays Program being implemented in conflict areas in the province.
The local government of Siaton has also provided free services such as birth registration and animal vaccination while the Philippine Army also offered services to include haircut and circumcision.
Vice Mayor Gabo said they are fortunate that Casalaan was chosen as the recipient of the said medical, dental and feeding program considering that it is one of the depressed areas in his town.
Casalaan was once affected by the rebel underground movement in the late 80’s and is now transformed into a peaceful community.
Residents from other nearby villages like Apoloy and Mantiquil have also trekked to Casalaan to avail of the free services offered.
Lt. Col. Erwin Bernard Neri, commander of the 79th Infantry Battalion, said charity missions such as this one not only support the government’s counter-insurgency efforts but also allow people living in depressed communities to allow fast and free access to medical and dental services, among others.
According to him, medical missions have been regularly held in other parts of the province to address the basic health needs of people especially in the hinterland areas.
The Siaton local government is also planning to hold a much bigger medical and dental mission come December at the town proper where all its barangays are expected to benefit from it. (PNA) LAP/JFP