A mining company recently sent a medical mission to Sibago, a mountain barangay in Pinamungajan, Cebu, for the first time.
The activity – organized by Solid Earth Development Corp. (SEDC) – attended 424 residents who hardly receive medical attention.
Dr. Ildebrando Estella, his wife, Dr. Easter Lette Estella and Dr. Normacita Infantado attended 160 adults and 152 children at Sibago Primary School.
An optometrist also looked into the eyes of 112 residents, who went home with a set of glasses, according to Mitzie Almira Carin, SEDC's human resources division and administration manager.
Captain Paulino Canoy of Sibago Barangay, with advisers Juan Candole and Pedro Canoy, and barangay health professionals, helped during pre-listing and the recent conduct of the activity.
Sibago resident Tarsiana Barnido, 70, said there is no clinic or pharmacy in her home village.
"We have to go downtown to buy medicine," she said in Cebuano.
Sometimes she has to go to Barangay Tabunok, Talisay City, to get her medicine.
“I already have several diseases. I have to spend a lot, ”said Barnido.
Barnido and his neighbors were delighted that SEDC sent a medical mission to Sibago.
“We ourselves have been checked by the doctors. We also get free medicines and vitamins, ”she said.
Gloria Pauner, 72, wished SEDC to continue medical missions in her village, saying she and her neighbors need help.
Barnido's son, Armando, 49, had a stroke three years ago. He could barely talk and walk. Your son said Sibago is far from the hospital. "That's why most people here have no choice but to endure their illness," he said.
Barnido hopes the next mission will include minor surgery so his cataract can be removed.
Armando's son hopes that circumcision will be included as well, said Zeny Tapuyao, SEDC's community relations coordinator.
With Taiheiyo Cement Philippines Inc. (TCPI), the company sent a mission to two Pinamungahan barangays in September 2012, in coordination with then Provincial Council member Alex Binghay. The medical staff attended 642 residents.
SEDC also organized its medical missions in 2014, 2016 and 2017, serving 1,588 residents in 11 barangays. The company will soon operate a quarry to extract silica on an uninhabited part of Pinamungajan land for cement production at TCPI's South Poblacion, San Fernando plant. (S)