PGMA’s Speech

PGMA’s Speech during the 13th Academic Meeting and Annual Convention of the
Philippine Academy of Medical Specialists (PAMS)
Isla Ballroom, EDSA Shangri-la Hotel, Mandaluyong City
12 November 2007

Thank you so much Dr. Rene Catan and congratulations to you!

To Dr. Daisy Camitan, to PAMS treasurer Dr. Elmer Punzalan and Dr. Gerry Genuino, and all your officers and members for being at the vanguard of a healthy and energetic society at the forefront of a strong economy.

Maraming salamat sa inyo.

Noong una inimbita ako, akala ko ang PAMS, Philippine Aassociation of Medical Specialists. Pero marami akong nalaman sa unang mga minuto ng ating pagpupulong ngayon, academy of medical specialists, and that makes you very special indeed.

But before we talked about your uniqueness, let me first thank you for the medical missions and self-help programs of your academy. Notably those that support our goals to cut the cost of medicine and of bringing specialized training to the provinces.

Kanina nung pinag-uusapan namin na academy pala and “A” doon sa PAMS, pinapaliwag sa akin ni Dr. Catan na itong grupo ninyo ay nagbunga noong nagkaroon ng debolusyon. At yung mga doktor na nalipat mula sa national payroll, napunta sa mga payroll ng mga local governments, eh mas maliit kasi ang… Dahil sa linipat ang mga district hospitals naging mabigat para sa local governments ang iba’t-ibang mga gastos para sa mga local health services lalo na ‘yung specialization, doon pumasok yung inyong academy, tumulong para sa tuloy-tuloy na specialization ng mga devolved medical personnel. Napaka-marangal na layunin. At sa ibabaw noon, dahil kayo ay tumutulong sa mga pamayanang lokal, doon nagbunga rin yung inyong mga medical and surgical missions.

And that is why, I would also like to… That’s why I have authorized PAGCOR, ng kakapasok ni President Butch Francisco dito, dalawa ang aking i-aatas sa iyo Butch. Makinig ka hanggang sa dulo ng diskurso ko kasi doon ko ibibigay ang pangalawa. Pero una, I have authorized PAGCOR to release 100 million pesos to set up mobile clinics. This is in support of the outreach programs of your organization.

Pasalamatan natin si Dr. Catan sa PAMS goal for medical advancement. At pasalamatan natin si Dr. Genuino na nag-follow up noong proposal doon sa PAGCOR. Pati na rin for initiating the “Heal the Nation Now” project. As I understand it, the “Heal the Nation Now” project aims for physical, spiritual and political healing.

‘Yung political healing. Unity is a real aspiration that manifest itself through progress. People want to know: are we strong? Are we stable? Are we growing as a nation? Is everyone benefiting equally? Is there social justice in the land? Do people feel good about themselves and the society in which they live?

Unity of purpose is driven by a common desire to know where we are going as a nation. To know that our leaders are strong, honest, hardworking and committed to the best interest of the people.

Unity is about action not discussion. It is about working together not just talking together. Within unity there can be and must be room for dissent, even conflict as part of the process of moving the nation forward. At the end of the day, unity is measured by collective hope, commitment and confidence. At yun ang inaasahan natin sa “Heal the Nation Now” movement.

‘Yung spiritual healing. A leader must be driven by a strong vision for the nation and the determination to deliver a better life. I, as your leader, I’m driven by my faith in God and my faith in the people of this nation.

I get up everyday and fight in behalf of the average hardworking Filipino. We all share the same values of family, hardwork and faith. The people deserve an honest, hardworking government just as they are honest and hardworking. And so with your help, with the help of the “Heal the Nation Now” movement. We aim to renew our efforts to stamp-out corruption and set a new standard of governance for our nation.

Maraming salamat sa inyong kontribusyon.

Hindi pa ako tapos.

And ‘yung physical healing. Dahil naglilingkod kayo sa maraming mahihirap. The prescription of generic or cheaper drugs by your members has healed the sick and tempered the prevailing attitude that only expensive medicines can work. Yung inyong panawagan, nanawagan kayo sa mga legislators.

Congress has demonstrated that when it sets aside self-interest it can produce legislation that improves the quality of life of all Filipinos. The most notable recent example is the bill that reduces the cost of life-giving medicines.

But much more needs to be done to improve human rights, to secure budgets for health care and education, to invest more in peace and order and to advance our national interests with other nations on trade, economy and security issues. And since you have made you call on legislators, indeed, continue to help me call on the legislators to stop political wrangling and concentrate on legislating.

Kasama pa rin sa physical healing, thank you for offering specialization courses leading to diplomates and fellowships in the provinces.

Education is a core value of Philippine society and family life. The hardworking men and women of this nation, including you, put their family first. And the best gift any family can give a child, and any nation can give its people, is access to a good education.

Education is the foundation of economic prosperity and individual liberty, social justice and self worth. That is why we continue to invest in new school construction at the elementary school level, and to bolster our college scholarship program for those high school students ready for higher education.

At doon naman sa nagtapos na ng college gaya ng medicine at nagtapos na ng kanilang board exams at ngayon ay nagpa-practice sa mga local governments, maganda yung inyong ginagawa. At sana makatulong sa inyo yung programa rin ng pamahalaan na ‘yung mga primary hospitals ay ginagawa nating secondary hospitals. At yung mga secondary hospitals kung saan marami ang mga populasyon pero kulang ang tertiary hospitals ay ginagawa nating tertiary hospitals. Hindi lang, ito ay makakapagbigay ng magandang paglilingkod sa taumbayan kundi doon din pwedeng magkaroon ng mga hours yung mga gusto niyong bigyan ng mga fellowships at diplomates.

Magbibigay ako ng isang halimbawa. Noong ako ay nandoon sa Eastern Samar itong weekend nagkaroon ng diarrhea outbreak doon sa Gamay, sa eastern part doon sa pacific side ng Northern Samar. At yung hospital ng Gamay kung saan sila dinala 25 beds ang capacity pero 600 ang total number of patients. Mula sa Tacloban nagpabili ako sa PCSO ng mga dextrose at ibang gamot. At dahil meron akong military and police helicopters na kasama at 5:30 in the morning, kasi binili yung… Nakuha yung balita ng hapon ng biyernes, binili yung gamot nung gabi ng biyernes. Sabado ng 5:30 am, yung helicopter kasama ng mga doktor… At iyung mga gamot kasama ng mga doktor ng military at yung nakuhang doktor na nandoon ay lumipad sa gamay. And thank goodness, yesterday, tumawag ako sa gobernador ng northern samar ay marami nang na-discharge dahil sa dumating na mga dextrose at iba pang gamot at mga doktor na tumulong.

Pero ang leksiyon dito ay yung Gamay kawawa naman. Eh hindi naman makakapunta yung mga pasyenteng may diarrhea sa Catarman dahil maraming lugar doon walang kalsada. Nagtatayo nga tayo ng mga kalsada ngayon doon sa pacific side. Kaya mas mabuti na kaysa aayusin pa natin at gagawing tertiary hospital doon sa malayong lugar, sabi ko kay Secretary Duque, gastusan na lang natin yung hospital ng gamay at gawin nating secondary hospital.

At sana doon sa secondary hospital kahit na meron isa lang na espesyalistang surgeon, meron isang espesyalistang anesthesiologist, meron isang espesyalistang gynecologist dahil iyon ang mga pangangailangan for secondary. Magiging pagkakataon din na yung mga doktor sa banda roon ay makapag-diplomate or fellowship training na rin sa ilalim ng PAMS.

Eradicating poverty is the central mission of this government and our society. Yun ngang lugar na yun, Northern Samar, wala na siya doon sa top 10 poorest provinces pero kasama sa top 20. Kaya kailangan ang mga kalsada, upgrading ng hospital na malayo and so on. But today back here in manila, nakikita ko nagtatayo na tayo ng mga christmas decoration sa mga kalsada. As we enter the holiday season, it’s essential that every person of means help those in need. The government is doing everything in its power to be a catalyst for this process.

We can’t say that we have moved forward as a nation if we don’t lift up the poor and hungry among us. Kaya dito darating ang aking pangalawang utos sa PAGCOR, Butch. Ewan ko kung alam ni Efraim ito. Hindi pa niya yata alam, kaya ikaw na ang bahala to make sure it happens. Aside from the p100 million for mobile clinics, I am instructing PAGCOR to contribute 100 million pesos to help ensure that the needy throughout our nation will have access to affordable rice during this holiday season.

Sama-sama tayong magtulungan. Let’s be united and heal the nation politically, spiritually and physically.

Working all together, we will be able to heal the nation.

Mabuhay ang Academy of Medical Specialists!

Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat.

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