Serving Negrenses beyond legislation

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By Danny B. Dangcalan

A Walk in the Park

Friday, May 16, 2014

THE Vice Mayors’ League of the Philippines (VMLP)- Negros Occidental Chapter has made it its mission to provide medical assistance to their constituents every quarter of the year.

For one whole day, the 32 vice mayors go to the town or city of their colleague and bring in a team of doctors, nurses, health personnel, volunteers and military to give free medical, dental, and surgical services to residents.

The group also offers free haircut to adults and children, circumcision to small boys, and feeding for at least 120 kids aged 5 to 8 years old.
Normally confined to legislative functions like crafting resolutions and ordinances for their town or city, the mayors of Negros Occidental began organizing a medical mission in 2004, with then Bacolod City Vice Mayor Renecito Novero as the league president.


It continued under the term of Bacolod City Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, who became the president of the league from June 2007 to May 2013.

Sayson was succeeded by Silay City Vice Mayor Mark Golez as league president last year. Golez also currently serves as the public relations officer (PRO) of VMLP for the Visayas.

Other officers of VMLP-Negros Occidental Chapter for 2013-2016 are Vice Mayors Neil Lizares of Talisay City—vice president; Greg Gasayata of Bacolod City—secretary general; Felix Feria IV—treasurer; Delia Anacan of Kabankalan City—Auditor; Victor Gerardo Rojas of Murcia—PRO; and
Board of Directors: Edgardo Quisumbing of San Carlos City for First District, Narciso Javelosa Jr. of Sagay City for Second District, Reynaldo Depasucat of E. B. Magalona for the Third District, Nicholas Yulo for the Fourth District, Carminia Bascon of Himamaylan City for the Fifth District, and Maria Gina Lizares of Sipalay City of the Sixth District.

This year, the first medial mission of the VMLP was in Ilog where 500 constituents were served last April 26. The second was in Cauayan where about 700 residents availed of medical and other assistance last May 10.
For these two medical missions, the vice mayors brought six doctors, Barangay Health Workers (BHWs), personnel of the Municipal Health Office and Municipal Social Welfare and Development, and Army personnel of the 303rd Infantry Brigade.

Golez said only the VMLP in Negros Occidental is conducting medical mission, other VMLP chapters don’t have a similar activity.

Their third mission will be in Hinobaan on May 22. Golez said they expect the number to surpass that of the Cauayan mission since the Hinobaan activity will coincide with the 22nd founding anniversary of the town’s Eleuterio T. Decena Memorial Hospital.

Prior to the scheduled medical missions, the VMLP conducted two fund-raising activities earlier: the Annual Derby at the New Negros Coliseum in Brgy. Sum-ag Bacolod City last Jan. 4 to 5, and the 2014 Panaad Golf Tournament last April 4 to 5.

“It’s a work-play-help concept,” Golez said.

Aside from the proceeds from these fund-raising events, the medical mission is supported by provincial government through Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., Vice Gov. Eugenio Lacson, and the Sangguniang Panlalawigan; and corporate sponsors.

Lacson, himself the vice mayor of San Carlos City from 1992 to 2001, also regularly joins the medical mission.

Golez said, “I thank my colleagues for electing me president of the league because thorough our medical missions and other activities, I get to meet different people all over Negros Occidental.”

“As president of the league, I do not only serve the people of Silay City but the people of Negros Occidental,” he added.

For his part, Roxas said the vice mayors always get a warm reception in every LGU they go to for their medical mission. “The people are very thankful that they can avail of free medical services from our medical mission,” he added.

Gasataya said, “With this medical mission, our duties and responsibilities are not limited to just passing laws and ordinances. Now we deliver basic services directly to our constituents.”

Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on May 16, 2014.


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