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    VPSD Speech for Davao Regional Medical Center and Resident Physician Association Commencement Ceremony, Tagum City Historical and Cultural Center

    Event Date: December 21, 2022, at 1:00 p.m.

    Assalamualaikum.

    [STANDARD GREETINGS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF GUESTS]

    Madayaw. Maayong hapon kaninyong tanan.


    Let me express my warmest congratulations to the Graduating Resident Physicians of Davao Regional Medical Center.

    I share the pride and joy of the entire DRMC community, the Resident Physician Association, and your families as you culminate a period of comprehensive study and rigorous residency training in this institution.

    Your admirable display of perseverance, dedication and determination in pursuit of excellent medical service in Tagum and the rest of Davao de Oro makes you a valuable addition to the profession of medicine.

    At the height of the Covid 19 pandemic, I somehow had a moment of nostalgia with things like: If I had become a doctor, I’d most certainly be among those who were at the frontline, risking their lives to save others.

    I thank you for your invitation for the second time and for this opportunity to stand before all of you to thank you for your hardwork during the Covid 19 pandemic. Daghan kaayong salamat on behalf of all the patients and the families that you have helped through Covid 19.

    And along with our doctors and other medical professionals were local government unit chief executives — like me — on the frontlines, delivering health and basic services to the people, ensuring that they become our partners in curbing the spread of the virus, and keeping people in our communities well informed as we had to contend with fear, confusion, panic, and the misery of losing loved ones due to Covid.

    We still have the ongoing battle against COVID-19. As we speak, the number of cases in the entire country has gone up, although cases in Region XI, and in Davao de Oro in particular, are not alarming. Time and time again, we need to remind our kababayan to observe the proper wearing of masks, and get their booster shots.

    And while we were head-to-head with the virus, we also had to vigorously prevent the torrent of misinformation and disinformation.

    In Davao City, the voice of our health professionals effectively took down the flood of fake news that polluted the minds of our people.

    Our partnership with health experts from the Department of Health and experts from local private health institutions wielded power against the virus.

    We hope to see collaborations with you on matters concerning public health and welfare in the future.

    For example, on addressing malnutrition.

    The prevalence of stunting or malnutrition among children under five continues to be an issue in Davao region. The Office of the Vice President and the Department of Education have launched programs to combat malnutrition among schoolchildren but stunting and the health of pregnant and lactating mothers require a whole-of-government approach, and not just the government, including our private sectors for our health professionals and local government units.

    There is also an observed steady rise of infectious diseases such as the recent Cholera outbreak. I urge you to remain persistent in our collective fight against these common enemies that affect the most vulnerable sectors of society.

    Also recently, the Philippine’s HIV-AIDS report offered us a glimpse of what should be done to strengthen efforts to ensure that our citizens do not get infected with HIV. We need to provide the proper education that will not only help Filipinos deepen their understanding of the issue but also enable them to get involved in the advocacy for the elimination of HIV infection.

    Data shown by the Department of Health in September this year indicates that Region XI comprises 6 percent of the total populace with newly diagnosed cases of HIV. Pregnant women with HIV in the Davao region make up 3 percent of the total number.

    In all these, I enjoin you in our crucial task of preserving public health in our region as these threats place several socio-economic consequences that put more women, children, and youth at greater risk.

    As we begin a new chapter of public service in the year ahead, I trust that you will continue to join us in ensuring wider access to affordable and quality care for your patients and creating more opportunities for medical advancement in Mindanao.

    On this note, let me also extend my sincere congratulations to the Davao Regional Medical Center and Resident Physician Association on the successful bout of residency of this year’s graduating batch. This milestone is a testament to your unwavering commitment to providing quality and reliable healthcare while remaining true to the call of service amid the present challenges faced by the health sector.

    Kahibalo mo, magtan-aw ko sa Instagram. I do not know the situation diri sa ato sa Philippines but sa Instagram, I follow young doctors who have become influencers sa social media and usually these are Americans.

    Taod-taod, naa’y mag post sa ilaha ug “condolence,” “condolence sa pamilya ni…” and “one more resident down.” So apparently, taas kaayo ang suicide rates sa ilahang residents didto sa United States of America.

    And I’d like to remind you, young doctors, we do not come from the same generation. I come from the 1970s. They say na ang born in the 1990s and 2000s, dili na daw sila anad sa kalisod ug dili na daw sila anad na muagi ug kasakit tungod kay gihatag na sa ilang ginikanan ang tanan para dili na sila makabati ug heartaches because the generation of their parents already went through it. Of course, we do not want our children to go through what we have to go through.

    But I’d like to remind you young doctors na ang pangarap lang ng iba ay nasa kamay niyo na. Mura na ug gugma ba. Ang gusto nimo, naa sa lain ug wala sa imo. Mao sad na ang naa sa inyo karon — the honor to serve our fellowmen are in your hands. Now, if you’re having a hard time, if you need a break, take all the time that you need for a break but don’t take your life because sayang ang gihatag sa Ginoo na oportunidad sa inyoha na mutabang sa ubang tao.

    I hope this occasion will further inspire you to champion medical education through competence and compassion even as you continuously serve as our steadfast partner in advocacies promoting our people’s greatest welfare.

    Again, my sincere congratulations to the new resident physicians of DRMC. I look forward to your continuing growth in your chosen specialties and our fruitful partnership in our shared advocacies for the medical community.

    This is only the beginning of a lifelong and fulfilling journey in public service. I am pleased to know that we have a dedicated and vigorous new generation of medical specialists who will join us paving more sustainable paths of innovation and growth in the field of medicine.

    Be assured of your government’s continuing support in our collective mission

    Posted in VP Sara - Speeches on Dec 21, 2022