Issue of May 13, 2018
     
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Benguet
Kalinga
 
OPINION
 

2018
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Health mission reaches out to residents of mining town
by Harley F. Palangchao

FREE DENTAL SERVICE -- Government and private dentists offer free services to residents of Mankayan, Benguet and nearby areas during a three-day humanitarian mission hosted by Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company. The civic mission is the biggest of its kind in northern Benguet. -- Harley Palangchao

MANKAYAN, Benguet – More than a thousand residents, many of them indigents, availed of the various health servi-ces during the three-day medical, dental, optical and surgical mission sponsored by a mining company.

Close to 30 individuals underwent major surgical operations such as cholecystectomy, thyroidectomy, tubal surgery, and cheilosplasty inside the Lepanto Mine Hospital.

About 170 also availed of free minor operations such as excision and circumcision while 435 individuals benefited from medical services.

Close to 120 children availed of pedia services, 200 benefitted from dental services, 65 availed of optical services, while 58 individuals benefited from derma services.

Dr. Paul Adlai Quitiquit drove from Saint Louis University Hospital to Mankayan early on May 7 to perform an operation on a toddler.

The operation was completed in half an hour and  the healing is hoped to go unhampered.

The physician performed two expensive surgical operations for free.

Several other doctors, mostly coming from University of Sto. Tomas and other hospitals in Manila, lent their time and services for free.

Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company President and Chief Operations Officer Bryan U. Yap told reporters that the health mission held every two years has served more than 13,000 individuals since it was launched six years ago.

The humanitarian mission, launched in 2012, has been institutionalized and is theld every two years ito cater to the needs for health services by residents, especially indigent patients who could not afford to pay the cost of hospitalization and medical care.

The patients are residents of Mankayan and nearby towns of Cervantes and Quirino in Ilocos Sur.

In the past, residents of Mountain Province and some parts of northern Benguet were rendered with health services.

Yap thanked the medical and dental volunteers, including anesthesiologists, who rendered their services free of charge.

“Our medical missions have a special place in my heart,” Yap said.

“I always look forward to it. I am proud of the kind of love and support that we give to our community. Witnessing the patients’ expressions of relief, gratitude, and joy after being treated, you can’t put a price tag to that,” he added.

Yap said that mining is challenging and misunderstood.

“After our June 2016 medical mission, Lepanto and the whole Philippine mining industry were demonized by people in power and in the media who had no clue about what responsible miners do,” Yap said.

“Our industry also has one of the widest footprints in terms of social responsibility,” he said.

“This medical mission we hold every two years is meant to serve the surrounding communities, providing them with the same free services we give to our employees and their dependents.”


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