Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo yesterday lauded local government officials, many of whom were from Negros Occidental, for joining the campaign for blood donations to save lives at the 13th National Sandugo Awards at the Diamond Hotel in Manila yesterday afternoon.
Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. was the lone governor awardee, while Don Salvador Benedicto headed by Mayor Marxlen de la Cruz was elevated to the Hall of Fame for winning in the municipal category for three consecutive years.
Dela Cruz said, aside from him, the barangay captains of Kumaliskis, Bagong Silang and Bago in DSB also received hall of fame awards.
Mayor Agustin Bascon of Himamaylan City, Mayor Alejandro Mirasol of Binalbagan and Mayor Evelio Leonardia of Bacolod City were also awardees of the Department of Health and DILG tilt.
Of the about 200 awardees, 49 of them were from Negros Occidental, including 80-year-old Barangay Captain Norma Balbin of Barangay 1, Sipalay City, who is a fifth time awardee.
The governor said he was happy to see that there were so many barangay captain awardees, aside from the mayors, from Negros Occidental.
The governor said he will continue to support the Sandugo program and will urge other chief executives to double their bloodletting efforts.
He also lauded the Provincial Health Office for its continuous campaign for support for the bloodletting program.
Robredo told the awardees “This day belongs to you, the local chief executives, for giving hope to our countrymen. Your participating in this program has really helped extend the lives of our fellow Filipinos.“
Presently there is an estimated gap of 400,000 units of blood for 50,000 patients, Robredo said, quoting Philippine National Red Cross figures.
We would not want to see children die from dengue fever all because blood is not available, he said.
Health Assistant Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said last year the voluntary bloodletting program produced 800,000 blood units.
While we have gone a long way, we are still short of 200,000 units, she added.
The achievements of the awardees need to be replicated in order that the country will have adequate blood supply for the sick by 2015, she said.
Robredo told the awardees the Sandugo program is successful because they got involved.
“I hope you continue volunteering your services because it means a lot to our people, the community and our nation,” he said.*