Bungahan, Cuenca, Batangas LGU officially assumes management of the ALAGA KA BHS
Christmas came early to the residents of Bungahan and its neighboring communities in Cuenca, Batangas as a new Barangay Health Station (BHS) is officially transferred under the stewardship of their own barangay.
On 18 November 2021, Health Futures Foundation, Inc. (HFI) held a simple ceremony to celebrate the turnover of Bungahan ALAGA KA (Alay sa Ginhawa at Kalusugan) BHS to the Bungahan Barangay Local Government Unit (BLGU) and Cuenca, Batangas Local Government Unit (LGU). The said ALAGA KA BHS is the sixth (6th) BHS turned over by the organization and its partner, Sun Life Foundation, in Batangas this 2021.
In attendance during the ceremony were Cuenca Mayor Faye Endaya-Barretto, Vice Mayor Romulo P. Cuevas, Coun. Danilo Magsombol, Coun. Nina Verdan, Coun. Aurea Pantas, Coun. Crispin Magsombol, Department of Health (DOH) Provincial Health Team Leader in Batangas Dr. Elizabeth V. Sario, DOH Disease Surveillance Officer Ms. Cristina H. Comia, Bungahan Brgy. Capt. Elmer Tarin, Bungahan BLGU members, Bungahan Barangay Health Workers (BHWs), representative of Bungahan Cluster Leaders (CLs), Briccio Pantas Elementary School Principal Ms. Nilda E. Chavez, HFI President Dr. Cora de los Angeles-Añonuevo, HFI Projects Management Officer Ms. Michelle Alyssa Ann Fortea, HFI Project Associate Ms. Denise Morelos, and HFI ALAGA KA Community Health Nurse (CHN) Ms. Maricel Espinili.
The program formally opened with the blessing of the BHS, followed by the singing of the Philippine national anthem led by BHW Ms. Mary Jane Manalo.
To warmly welcome the guests and attendees, Bungahan Brgy. Capt. Tarin expressed his utmost gratitude to HFI, Sun Life Foundation, and ALAGA KA CHN Ms. Espinili who has been instrumental in the barangay’s health campaigns and programs. Brgy. Capt. Tarin also emphasized how fortunate Bungahan is to be chosen as one of the recipients of the new health station and its free primary health care services.
Following Brgy. Capt. Tarin’s speech, HFI President Dr. de los Angeles-Añonuevo delivered a message of inspiration to the guests and attendees of the program, where she briefly recollects the history of the partnership between HFI and the Cuenca LGU. The Bungahan ALAGA KA BHS is HFI’s third (3rd) project in Cuenca since 2015, and second (2nd) this year, following the construction of the Community Isolation Unit (CIU) which caters to probable COVID-19 cases, asymptomatic patients, or those with mild symptoms of COVID-19.
Cuenca Mayor Endaya-Barretto also took the stage to thank HFI, Sun Life Foundation, and everyone who made the construction of the Bungahan ALAGA KA BHS possible. While the facility is under the barangay’s management, Mayor Endaya-Barretto assured the donors and the Bungahan BLGU members that the municipality will be there to support the BLGU in sustaining the operations of the Bungahan ALAGA KA BHS.
Despite being unable to physically attend the event, Sun Life Foundation Executive Director Ms. Kristine Diane Millete still managed to grace the program with a video message presented during the program. In her speech, Ms. Millete, asked the new custodians of Bungahan ALAGA KA BHS and its residents to take care of the facility and make it useful to everyone. Ms. Millete also mentioned that the Sun Life Foundation team is looking forward to visiting the barangay soon.
Meanwhile, DOH Provincial Health Team Leader Dr. Sario gave a message of hope to the guests and attendees which she started off by acknowledging the joint efforts of HFI, Sun Life Foundation, and the Bungahan BLGU in making primary health care available, accessible, and affordable through the Bungahan ALAGA KA BHS. Dr. Sario cited that the presence of the BHS will open opportunities to further strengthen health campaigns on vaccination and COVID-19 information dissemination, among others. She is also hopeful that the synergy among the stakeholders continues, and commits that their office will extend its support to these kinds of initiatives.
Representing the Bungahan BHWs, Ms. Emma Roxas also spoke during the program to send their gratitude to the donors of the new Bungahan ALAGA KA BHS. Ms. Roxas, who has been a BHW for more than two (2) decades now, expressed her joy as the barangay finally has a new, bigger facility with complete equipment which will definitely benefit more patients. She also cited the training they received from HFI, and promised that they will continue this initiative as they build their own community of wellness.
To formally close the program, Cuenca Vice Mayor Cuevas once again, thanked HFI and Sun Life Foundation for the initiative to construct a new BHS in Bungahan. The Vice Mayor also commended the health workers in the area, especially ALAGA KA CHN Ms. Espinili, for their efforts in keeping the residents safe and healthy. He also thanked the Bungahan BLGU for accommodating this unexpected project, which led them to where they are now. For him, the Bungahan ALAGA KA BHS turnover is a historic moment for both the Bungahan BLGU and Cuenca LGU.
For the main event of the program, Cuenca Mayor Endaya-Barretto, Vice Mayor Cuevas, DOH Provincial Health Team Leader Dr. Sario, Bungahan Brgy. Capt. Tarin, and HFI President Dr. de los Angeles-Añonuevo led the Signing of the Deed of Donation, marking the official turnover of the ALAGA KA BHS to the Bungahan, Cuenca, Batangas LGU.
To signify this transfer of stewardship, a ceremonial key was turned over by HFI President Dr. de los Angeles-Añonuevo to Bungahan Brgy. Capt. Tarin, Cuenca Mayor Endaya-Barretto, Vice Mayor Cuevas, and DOH Provincial Health Team Leader Dr. Sario. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was also held after.
Following the ribbon-cutting proper, Brgy. Capt. Tarin took the stage once again to recognize the efforts of HFI by giving the organization a certification of recognition.
The guests took a brief tour of the newly turned-over Bungahan ALAGA KA BHS and had a quick photo opportunity to memorialize the event.
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In partnership with Sun Life Foundation, the construction of these BHS in Batangas aims to provide access to primary health care through the construction of eight (8) Barangay Health Stations (BHS) and implementation of Community-based Health and Wellness Programs (CBHWP) in Batangas in the year 2020.
With these interventions, the project is expected to benefit around 25,000 individuals, mostly from the far-flung barangays and marginalized communities.
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