SM Foundation renovates Tacloban City Hospital

Addressing the need to provide quality health service to typhoon Yolanda victims in Tacloban, SM Foundation partnered with the government, the City of Tacloban, and the Department of Health (DOH) to renovate the Tacloban City Hospital, one of the two public hospitals actively serving the city’s population.

The DOH, the City of Tacloban, and the SM Foundation, Inc. solidified their partnership through the signing of the project’s memorandum of agreement for the Tacloban City Hospital renovations which started earlier in March.

Connie Angeles, the Foundation’s Executive Director for Health and Medical Programs, shared, “The Tacloban City Hospital caters to more than 130 barangays and averages a number of 100 patients per day, prior to Typhoon Yolanda making it a primal location for accessible health services.” She adds “The hospital is also far from the ‘no-build zone’ listed by the Department of Natural Resources (DENR), making it a safe area to build this hospital.”

The “no-build zone” ordinance was created following the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda which prevents the building of houses and establishments 40 meters from the shoreline.

The MOA also states that 80% of the labor force for the renovation was to come from the local community. “The rebuilding of the Tacloban City Hospital is not only to cater to those who are in need of medical assistance but also to provide means of livelihood to the residents affected by the disaster,” Angeles added. “The renovation is part of the Foundation’s plan to create a more self-sustaining community for Tacloban.”

Aside from renovating the hospital’s main building and outpatient department, an additional Felicidad Wellness Center for Children and Elderly and a Malnutrition Ward will be constructed. The target date for completion of the hospital is on June 2014.

Signatories of the MOA include Sec. Panfilo M. Lacson, Sr., Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery; Hon. Alfred S. Romualdez, Tacloban City Mayor; Teresita Sy-Coson, SM Investments Vice Chairperson; Debbie P. Sy, SM Foundation, Inc. Executive Director; and Connie S. Angeles Health and Medical Programs, Executive Director.

The Foundation is also active in conducting medical missions in Yolanda-stricken areas. The residents are provided free medical services such as check-ups and consultations, medicines, laboratory procedures such as chest x-ray, ECG examination, urinalysis, as well as dental check-ups,s, and tooth extraction.

Likewise, the Foundation will continue its renovation projects in partnership with the BDO Foundation through the repairs of 10 new rural health centers for this year, namely: Tolosa Rural Health Unit, Leyte; Western Samar Rural Health Unit, Basey; Ajuy Rural Health Unit, Iloilo; Northern Cebu Rural Health Unit, Bogo City, Cebu; Capiz Rural Health Unit; Aklan Rural Health Unit; Antique Rural Health Unit; Zamboanga Rural Health Unit; Butuan Rural Health Unit, Agusan del Norte; and La Trinidad Health Unit, Benguet.

For the school year 2014-15, the Foundation welcomed 322 new scholars. These include an additional 100 scholars from Tacloban City and its neighboring areas in the Visayas who are survivors of Typhoon Yolanda.