The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), the country's health insurance arm mandated to provide affordable, accessible and quality health care to all Filipinos, wants to enhance its role in the health care sector and support the preventive aspect of health, rather than just the usual curative agenda. Taking off from the success of running events in providing an avenue for public and private partnership to work together towards a good cause, PhilHealth Mindanao is currently organizing the PHILHEALTH RUN: The Mindanao Run for Hope slated on February 5, 2012 which shall be held simultaneously in six key cities, namely, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Koronadal, Marawi and Zamboanga. The running event is targeting a minimum of 17,000 runners, the first simultaneous run to be held across the island of Mindanao.
The PhilHealth Run hopes to bridge financial assistance to a chosen main beneficiary, the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) Children's Cancer Center and Blood Diseases Unit (SPMC-CCCBDU) located in Davao City, the only facility in Visayas and Mindanao that can deliver multidisciplinary care for children with cancer. Through this running event and PhilHealth's army of partners and stakeholders, children with cancer in Mindanao may get another lease in life and a brighter hope.
PhilHealth's call to action has caught the attention of a number of private partners who committed to join the advocacy of hope for children with cancer. Recently, PhilHealth Mindanao formally sealed the Sponsorship Agreement with its main partners at the Waterfront Insular Hotel in Davao City. Among the co-presentors of the region-wide event are Rite Med (United Laboratories, Inc.) manufacturers of the "right medicine, priced right" from the leading pharmaceutical company in the Philippines; ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, the largest integrated media and entertainment company in the country; Smart Communications Inc., the Philippines' leading wireless services provider; CIS Bayad Center, Inc., the country's pioneer and leader in the over-the-counter multiple bills payment collection business; and All Card Plastics, Inc., the highest volume, fast-growing full plastic card printing and production facility in the Philippines.
PhilHealth Mindanao was represented by OIC-AVP Ramon F. Aristoza, Jr. while the co-presentors were represented by Atty. Jose Maria A. Ochave, Senior Vice President of United Laboratories, Manuel Lorenzo Tuason, President and CEO of CIS Bayad Center, Allieta C. Cue, President, All Card Plastics, Trisha Corpus, Station Manager of ABS-CBN Davao, and Haydee Bernabe, Public Affairs Sr. Officer of Smart Communications.
A brief summary of the milestones and accomplishments of SPMC-CCCBDU was presented by Dr. Mae Concepcion J. Dolendo, Pediatric-Oncologist and Program Director for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital International Outreach Partner Site. Dolendo said that their pediatric cancer program has yielded improved survival rates through the years and hopes to help more kids with cancer across Mindanao. She also expressed optimism that through the PhilHealth Run, stakeholders from the government, medical and business sectors will take another look at the plight of these kids and help in increasing and improving the pediatric cancer facilities and in finding solutions to the usual problems on budgetary constraints, uneducated parents/ guardians and the lack of access to a cancer facility. She also led the co-presentors in an on-site visit to the Center and the House of Hope, a transient home for children with cancer and their parents.
PhilHealth Run: The Mindanao Run for Hope will be formally launched soon.