The Charisma of Sultan Kudarat Gov. Pax Mangudadatu and the Inspiring Message in His Speech During the BHW Day (November 9, 2017)

The Charisma of Sultan Kudarat Gov. Pax Mangudadatu

And the Inspiring Message in His Speech During the BHW Day (November 9, 2017)

By Apolinario Villalobos

 

I almost missed my chance to meet Sultan Kudarat Governor, Pax Mangudadatu when my schedule on November 9 got mixed up. Had Lotlot Espinosa, not called me about my promise to join her for the Barangay Health Workers’ (BHW) Day at the Capitol Gym, I could have opted for  two other appointments. The celebration was among those lined up for the more than one month celebration of the Kalimudan Festival 2017…the 19th year.

 

Inside the imposing Capitol Gym, the BHWs of the different municipalities including those of Tacurong City represented by the Baras Sanctuary, were already jam-packed on the lower level of the bleachers. The groups were colorfully distinguished by the color of their t-shirts. The honorable governor was already almost halfway from finishing his speech when we entered and considered myself lucky to have caught up with his speech filled with historic details about the province. The portion of his speech that first caught my attention was his declaration of utmost GRATITUDE to the Christians for coming during the 1900’s and helped a lot in educating the indigenous inhabitants, especially, the Muslims.

 

He called on the Sultan Kudaratnons to be TOLERANT in view of the multi-cultured character of the populace. He was practically appealing for UNITY despite differences in religion. He unabashedly mentioned his humble beginnings, practically, struggling to be where he is now, but adding that what he is today, including the political mandates, he owed to God. He underlined his hatred of illegal drugs, thankful that the nation has Duterte as President. But what made his speech very remarkable was his emphasis on the Oneness of God, whatever He is called in various religions which practically struck me. Later, when I sat beside him at the presidential table on stage, I noticed his Masonic ring.

 

While those seated at the presidential table started to enjoy their lunch, the governor kept on looking around until he stood up, went to the lectern and over the microphone, asked the Jollibee representatives to see to it that everybody was given a packed lunch. I heard a story about his giving his portion of lunch to the guy seated not far from him when he noticed that he has not gotten enough on his plate. With what I have personally witnessed that lunchtime inside the gym, the story about his benevolence has been confirmed.

 

Before he left the building, he approached the different groups, and that was when I saw how close he is to his constituents. Despite his little more than 70 years of age, he spritely shook hands and gamely allowed himself to be photographed in their company…the sight was overwhelming! For me, he should be appropriately called, the “Bapa of the Masses” (uncle of the masses).

 

The smile never left his serene face which made him more close to his Rural Health Workers. While looking at him obviously enjoying their company, his soft voice as we conversed a few minutes back, lingered in my mind. I contented myself taking occasional photos and from a short distance, let ecstatic health workers/volunteers savor the special moment with him as for the others to come are for his other constituents…the elders and PWEDs, the artists, etc.

 

I am praying for your health, Bapa Gov Pax!…More power to you!

Mga Kuwento tungkol sa Barangay Health Workers

Mga Kuwento Tungkol

sa Barangay Health Workers

ni Apolinario Villalobos

Hindi dapat balewalain ang nakakaawang sitwasyon ng mga barangay health centers ngayon. Sa isang banda ay pwedeng gawin ito ng pamahalaan kung ang layunin nito ay hayaang mamatay ang maraming Pilipino upang mabawasan ang lomolobong populasyon ng Pilipinas. Ganoon lang ka-simple.

May magkakalapit na mga barangay ang naghahati ng serbisyo ng mga health workers na nakatalaga sa kanila sa loob ng isang linggong pagdo-duty ng mga ito. Ito ang remedyong ginagawa ng mga opisyal upang kahit papaano ay makapaglingkod pa rin ang mga health workers sa mga tao kahit lumalabas na overworked na sila. Maganda ang sistema sa punto ng samahan o bayanihan.

Subalit kung bubusisiin, hindi dapat ganito ang nangyayari dahil may karampatang budget namang nakalaan para sa mga health workers na may kanya-kanyang pinangangalagaang barangay. Lumalabas na sa halip na mapunta sa tamang pinaglalaanan ang budget, napupunta ito sa bulsa ng mga tiwaling opisyal. Ibig sabihin, tinitipid ang pera na dapat sana ay magamit sa taong bayan, upang manakaw lang!

May mga health workers na siniswelduhan ng mga local governments na sa aking pananaw ay hindi dapat. Ang budget para dito ay dapat galing sa national agency na DOH. Ang partnership ng DOH at local governments ay dapat limitado sa pagpapatupad ng mga programa. Maliit ang budget ng mga local governments at sila ay may mahahalaga ring pangangailangan. Kung ganito din lang ang sistema, dapat tuluyan nang i-decentralize ang health system at buwagin ang DOH, at italaga ang responsibilidad sa mga local governments na ang budget ay manggagaling sa buwis na awtomatikong kakaltasin sa mga binabayad na buwis.

Sa ganitong paraan, mapagtutuunan pa ng mga local governments ang mga proyekto. Ang mga malalaking ospital ng gobyerno ay pwedeng gawin “self-governing” batay sa kanilang mga patakaran upang mawala ang bureaucracy, ang mga red tapes. Iilan lang naman ang mga ospital na ito. Kung ganito ang mangyayari, wala nang tone-toneladang gamot na bibilhin upang maistak sa mga bodega na hindi naman naipapamahagi ng maayos kaya inaabot ng expiration. Wala na ring kalihim na mag-iisip ng mga animo ay panaginip na proyekto tulad ng “stem cell research”, dahil sa kawalan ng magawa.

Samantala, ang mga kawawang health workers ay nanlalagkit ang katawan dahil sa pawis, at animo ay basang sisiw naman sa ilalim ng ulan, sa pagbabahay-bahay nila upang magpatupad ng mga programa. Dahil sa kagustuhang makapagserbisyo, natitiis nilang mag-abuno ng gastos para sa pamasahe, magbaon ng kanin, kamatis at tuyo o di kaya ay nilagang talbos ng kamote na makakain sa lilim ng puno pagdating ng tanghali, di kaya ay sa karinderya kung meron nito sa paligid upang makahingi man lang ng libreng sabaw. Yong mga assigned sa mga liblib na lugar, halos hindi makalunok ng laway dahil sa nerbiyos habang naglalakad o nakasakay sa habal-habal upang makadaong- palad ang mga taong ni hindi nakakita ng antibiotic o diatab.

Malayo ang DOH ngayon sa DOH noong kapanahunan ng yumaong Juan Flavier. Ang kalihim ngayon, si Ona, ni hindi pa yata nakarating sa mga islang barangay upang makakita ng tunay na kalagayan ng mga taong nangangailangan ng gamot o hindi pa natusok ng hiringelya upang mabakunahan. Pero, marami din naman siyang napasyalan – malalayong bansa, kung saan nakakita siya ng mga high tech na laboratories na nagsasaliksik tungkol sa stem cell!