First in Visayas to Be Renovated by SM and BDO
Mayor Leonardia Welcomes P2M Health Service Initiative

A health center in Bacolod shall be a recipient of equipment and upgraded facilities, including the complete renovation of its building. The project is estimated to cost approximately 2 million pesos.

Existing façade of the Health Center to be renovated. As soon as the project is completed, the building will be provided with new equipment and furniture, all donated by SMFI and BDO Foundation.

The Baranggay 12 Health Center, located at the Reclamation Area, will be receiving this donation through the partnership of SM Foundation and BDO Foundation. Under the Felicitas Sy Wellness Program, both foundations under SM’s umbrella shall undertake a renovation endeavor of the existing building, giving it a complete make-over, to include layout improvement, repairs and repainting. The building shall then be installed with new furniture, facilities and equipment that will enable it to house a dispensary, dental clinic, lying-in clinic, breastfeeding station and consultation areas. The renovation plans are underway and if space permits, a pharmacy may even be accomodated, where medicines can be obtained. In addition, recreational equipment shall also be donated by the foundations to allow a play and learning center for children patients. While health centers have been rehabilitated by the SM Group in Luzon and Mindanao, Baranggay 12 will be the first recipient of the same socio-civic service in the Visayas. Aside from Baranggay 12 residents, the health center serves 7 other areas, namely: Baranggays 8, 9, 10, 11, 17, 18 and 21. These residents will all benefit from the upgraded health center.  

SMFI Executive Director Connie Angeles said that rehabilitating health centers helps decongest government-owned hospitals of minor cases. This was reinforced by Mr. Albert Uy, SMFI Project Officer for Health and Wellness Programs when he presented the plan to Mayor Evelio Leonardia last Thursday. “When a health center is well equipped to provide basic care, minor health concerns can be addressed and attended to immediately, allowing hospitals to attend to major cases,” said Mr. Uy. 

While the project is set to officially start within the month of May, initial acts have already been done to get the rehabilitation started. Mayor Leonardia was updated on the ocular inspection conducted at health center by the SM engineering team and partner contractor where measurements were taken and initial plans were drafted. The project will be conducted in close coordination with the City of Bacolod, through City Health Officer Dr. Salome Biñas. Says Dr. Biñas, “Baranggay 12 and the City is fortunate to be a recipient of this development. A lot of our city residents will be direct beneficiaries of better health care services.” Added Mr. Uy, “Indeed, once renovation and equipment installation is completed, the upgraded center will be at par with any private clinic.” Dr. Biñas said that this is welcome news to residents of the baranggays that the Health Center serves, including indigents in need of health services.

SMFI and BDO Foundation have worked on other civic projects, most noted of which is the school building projects for baranggays, where new classrooms are built and donated to public schools. However, under both foundations’ health programs, this is the first partnership in the Visayas. Maureen Abelardo, BDO Foundation president and trustee, will be monitoring the progress of the project as well. Both foundations of SM have committed to undertake annual maintenance and upgrading of facilities. In the future, the center stands to be a venue for regular medical missions organized by the foundations. With the upgrade of equipment and facilities, the center will also be an ideal venue for baranggay on-the-job training of health personnel to enable them to attend to the medical cases that they encounter daily.
Mr. Uy also makes it clear that this is a donation to the City of Bacolod, and that the renovation does not make it the property of SMFI or BDO Foundation. “We will have a Deed of Donation presented to the City. The Health Center will fully remain government property.”

The renovation and rehabilitation of the Baranggay 12 Health Center is expected to complete within 3 months. In the meantime, a temporary location, either near the current location or its adjacent baranggays, will house the current facilities and medical staff and volunteers to be able to provide continued service. Mayor Leonardia stressed that the health service must not cease. Nurse Norma Aragon does not mind. She mans the Baranggay 12 health center together with Medical Officer Dr. Benjamin Gonzaga. “It is a small price for what we can expect when the new health center is finally opened to our beneficiaries,” she says. 

Also in Bacolod City, SM Foundation, Inc. has constructed and donated one-storey two classroom school buildings to Alangilan National High School and Vista-Alegre-Granada Relocation Elementary School in 2009 under its education advocacy and in support of the Department of Education's Adopt-a-School Program.