As the PHAPCares Foundation trains its sights to commemorating its 20th year of helping improve the lives and health of Filipinos, the collective corporate social responsibility arm of the research-based pharmaceutical industry once again demonstrated its commitment to serving the people who were impacted by sickness, poverty and disasters in 2022.
Since its founding in 2003, the PHAPCares Foundation has evolved into one organization which vision is to be a partner of choice of government and other institutions as a leader in sustainable healthcare, emergency response, and the practice of strategic investments for social development.
In her Annual Report, PHAPCares President Lotis Ramin (AstraZeneca Philippines President) said that the Foundation has partnered with multiple government agencies and organizations to support them in providing assistance to the people amidst the raging COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite the challenges brought by the pandemic, Ramin said that the PHAPCares Foundation has achieved its goals with the strategic direction set in place at the beginning of 2022, and the overwhelming support of its members, core team and volunteers.
“Let us look back at the highlights, and the contributions that each and every one of us gathered today have put in to make the impossible possible,” said Ramin during the PHAPCares General Membership Meeting held in December.
With several projects implemented in 2022, PHAPCares has paved the way for the attainment of its goals such as enabling sustainable healthcare, implementing meaningful healthcare strategies and emergency response as well as becoming the CSR partner of choice by its members and partners.
Right after the Strategic Planning held early in the year, PHAPCares executive director Dr. Rosarita Quijano-Siasoco led the conduct of its Annual Meeting with the organization’s Volunteer Corps composed of doctors, dentists and allied professions.
“From the bottom of our hearts, we genuinely thank you for volunteering your knowledge, resources and time with us. Because of our volunteers, we can reach more people, and more communities in need of our assistance,” said Ramin.
The PHAPCares core programs are clustered into three key categories. They are “Sustainable Healthcare” where the Foundation looks into the adoption of communities in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA); Access to Medicines and Emergency Response where medicine donations and medical outreach are provided to communities that require health assistance; and Social Development where the organization partners with Members for CSR efforts intended for special sectors.
During her report, Ramin also provided details of projects rolled out last year.
Under Sustainable Healthcare, the project “adopt a GIDA community” is focused on San Emilio, a 4th class municipality in the province of Ilocos Sur. The role of PHAPCares in San Emilio is to help empower the community to take charge of their own health by providing information and health services for schoolchildren and their parents.
Early in the year, PHAPCares discussed its activity in the pipeline for oral health, lecture on HIV and teenage pregnancy, and the presentation of the project outcomes to the local government of San Emilio.
“We aspire to continue our program in GIDA communities since they are municipalities that have limited resources in health,” stated Ramin.
ACCESS TO MEDICINES AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE
Ramin narrated that PHAPCares members and other partners were also active in the organization’s Medicine Donation Program. Medicines were donated to the province of Ilocos through the Provincial Health Office; the City Health Office of Binan, Province of Laguna; Our Lady of Peace Mission Hospital, Coastal Area, Paranaque City; and St. Michael the Archangel Parish, Bacoor Cavite.
For its Operation Quick Disaster Response, Ramin said that several calls for support were sent out to Members in response to the series of strong earthquakes that hit the country.
The PHAPCares also conducted relief distribution to 2,000 families in Del Carmen, Siargao, Province of Surigao Del Norte following the 5.2 magnitude earthquake that struck the island last year.
PHAPCares, meanwhile, donated chocolate drinks, sleeping mats, and alcohol to the affected families through the Diocese of Bangued in the Province of Abra in August when a magnitude 7.3 earthquake hit the province. The earthquake affected areas in Abra and Vigan in Ilocos Sur, and several parts of Ifugao.
“We received an outpouring of support from our members in terms of monetary and in kind contributions for the earthquake-affected communities,” said Ramin.
With the Member’s support, the Foundation went back to the Province of Abra to donate the much-needed blankets, mosquito nets, and chocolate drinks to the Diocese of Bangued.
While in the area, the team also conducted a lecture on HIV and Teenage Pregnancy in Barangay Pantay Daya in Vigan City, Ilocos Sur. The lecture was presented by the former San Lazaro Hospital Director, Dr. Benito Arca.
A series of coordination meetings were also held with the Department of Education, Vigan’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management (DRRM) coordinators and their secondary schools in response to their request for the conduct of the Earthquake and Landslide Search and Rescue Orientation Course or ELSAROC. The ELSAROC is a training program in partnership with the Metro Manila Development Authority’s (MMDA) Public Safety Division.
During the GMM, Ramin also announced that PHAPCares would be signing a Memorandum of Agreement with the MMDA to allow both organizations to harness their respective resources and networks to build a community of responders nationwide.
Its League of Corporate Foundations partner, Aboitiz Foundation, also donated hundreds of boxes of chocolate drinks to PHAPCares. These in turn, were donated to the following: the City Health Office in Dagupan City, Pangasinan for the affected families of the earthquake; Bureau of Corrections in Muntinlupa; Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Manila, Malabon and Quezon City; Camillian Sisters of Antipolo for their special education children and the abandoned elderly patients in their hospice institution; Oblate Sisters of St. Francis Xavier in Parañaque City for their special education children; Sto. Rosario Parish in Novaliches for the marginalized families in their development area; and City Environmental and Natural Resources Office (CENRO Street Sweepers) San Antonio Valley 1, Parañaque City.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE PANDEMIC
PHAPCares also did a recap of its pandemic response for the past two years in a webinar titled “Finding Meaning in the Next Normal” with Philippines Graphic and BusinessMirror.
“Moving forward, we want to learn from our experience of the pandemic,” said Ramin.
Ramin explained that one of the learnings is that health has wider implications and that it must be prioritized.
“We must also invest in health if we were to prepare for the next health challenges. These facts emphasize the need for sustainability in healthcare through a whole of systems approach,” said Ramin.
She added that there is a need to strengthen health building blocks namely the provision of financing, medicines, and vaccines, governance, health information, and health human resource among others.
“With this, we will continue establishing healthy communities and healthy cities for us to be better prepared to address current and future health threats,” she added.
The second learning is the value of innovation. Ramin committed to be more innovative in the Foundation’s approach to partnerships and in its way of doing things.
Finally, Ramin said that it will be important to recognize good work. In December 2022, PHAPCares conferred awards to its Members that exemplified sustainability and innovation in their CSR initiatives.
“We want to encourage our Members to continue with their work because we really want them to know that we appreciate them for all their initiatives for the people,” said Ramin.
In 2022, the organization launched the first-ever PHAPCares Foundation Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Seal of Excellence Awards. The CSR Seal is a testament that a Member has achieved the highest distinction for its outstanding support to the programs and projects of the organization, and for its exemplary initiatives that reflect sustainability and innovation in improving the lives and health of individual Filipinos, and communities.
The said CSR Seal is in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) and the Philippine Medical Association (PMA).
Ramin also announced that PHAPCares has started work in its “Healthy Cities” initiative which aims to sustainably improve health outcomes for city dwellers that have been made vulnerable by urbanization, limited resources, disasters, pollution, and a number of stressors.
Ramin concluded her report by expressing appreciation for the leadership of her fellow officers and trustees, Members, the Secretariat, volunteers and partners.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank each one for having supported the Foundation and pitched in these endeavors to get the job done,” she said.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS THROUGH THE YEARS
⬛ 8.6M worth of PPEs:
“We Will Not Rest” Campaign initiative during the COVID-19 pandemic and these were provided to 38 government & private hospitals, NGOs and healthcare institutions
⬛ 1B worth of Medicine Donation:
Over a billion worth of medicines donated from 2003 to present
⬛ Good Medicine Donation Practices Handbook:
Published in 2017 and was distributed to PHAP and PHAPCares Members
⬛ 1st Foundation Member:
PHAPCares is the first among the Foundations to become one of the members of the Alliance for Healthy Cities, a global network established by the World Health Organization.
⬛ 10,000 Individuals as Beneficiary in Medical Outreach:
5,000 families reached from 2016 to the present (Medical, Surgical & Dental)
⬛ 564 Certified Responders:
Trained and certified responders for the Earthquake and Landslide Search And Rescue Orientation Course (2016 to the present)
⬛ 157 Children served under the Oral Health Program:
PHAPCares conducted an Oral Health Program to Kinder pupils until Grade 4 from all schools of San Emilio, Ilocos Sur (GIDA)