March 2012 marks a significant breakthrough for the Angeleños. Aside from the different activities being undertaken for the Women’s Month Celebration, the city also launches the Gender and Development (GAD) Code. Likewise, City Vice Mayor Vicky Vega-Cabigting, a well known advocate of women’s rights spearheads the Parangal Para Sa Lider Kababaihan. She gave recognition to female barangay officials of Angeles City for their unselfish dedication to their respective tasks. The Vice Mayor stated in her message that these women leaders are the first to respond to the needs of women in the grassroots. The said events were held at Hotel Stotsenberg, Clark Freeport Zone on March 24, 2012.
DILG Regional Director Florida M. Dijan assisted in the awarding of plaques of recognition to four lady Punong Barangays and 30 Barangay Kagawads. In her message, RD Dijan congratulated the barangay leaders and the city government for initiating an activity which recognizes the participation and empowerment of women in governance.
City Councilor Edu Pamintuan representing Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan and Liga ng mga Barangay President Joseph Dimapilis also graced the activity.
Right after the recognition, Vice Mayor Vega-Cabigting presented to RD Dijan the Angeles City’s GAD Code. The GAD Code is a tangible proof that the city really means business as far as women empowerment is concerned. She also shared Sonny Carroll’s poem “The Empowered Women”. The activity ended with the closing message of City GAD Focal Person Purita David.
“We are convinced that Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan is doing an incredible job in fulfilling his health programs for his constituents and this is the reason why World Medical Relief Inc., (WMRI) continues to prioritize Angeles City among its recipients…”
This was the statement given by George Samson, Chief Executive Officer of WMRI who has pledged his support to Angeles City and its major health endeavors.
Since 1992, WMRI has been a partner of Angeles, particularly with Mayor Ed Pamintuan and his unwavering aspiration to provide affordable medical services thru the then Angeles City General Hospital. This was seen as an imperative mission in that year as Angeles was trying to recover from the devastation brought forth by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo.
Fast forward to 2011, Samson’s ties with the Mayor allowed the city to construct its very own Renal Care Unit (RCU) and provide over 300 dialysis treatments to Angeleños every month since June. The said RCU currently caters to the poorest of the poor, giving discounts up to 75% for patients who can’t afford to pay the expensive treatments given in other private hospitals.
Seeing the staunch efforts of the local city government and Mayor Ed Pamintuan in boosting health care services in the city, several non-government organizations and private businesses in the city have pledged their support to the local government, especially in its battle for affordable and quality health care. Since its inception, the Renal Care Unit has already acquired dialysis equipment from such donors. In fact, this February, the local government just received a brand new dialysis machine and an ambulance from a certain hotel to even further its efforts in providing this service to the city’s constituents.
“This is a milestone achievement of our administration and a dream fulfilled for Angeleños who wish to have a sigh of relief from the expenses incurred by weekly dialysis treatments,” says Mayor Pamintuan.
Currently, the Angeles City Renal Care Unit, located at the Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center compound, boasts of its 19 dialysis machines and is now capable of providing over 400 treatments to several patients (both from Angeles and even nearby towns & municipalities) every month.
The construction of this dialysis center with its initial 15 machines is an unprecedented achievement and development in local governance and public health interest. This inspired Mayor Pamintuan to propose a resolution to several national government agencies and GOCCs to set aside 5% of their annual national operating budget for the establishment and operation of Renal Care Units or Centers in all cities of the country.
During the League of Cities of the Philippine’s (LCP’s) 47th National Executive Board meeting in Laoag City, the said resolution was approved after Pamintuan shared the experience of Angeles City in operating its own dialysis center and how much this has made a difference in the lives and families of the more than 100 patients who are undergoing and benefiting from the city government's health program.
Many have been skeptical at first, saying that the administration’s move to establish a dialysis center will most definitely sap the resources of the local government. However, because of the tremendous outpour of support from various organizations, businesses & private groups, and the trust of the people given to Mayor Pamintuan, the Renal Care Unit holds strong today, ultimately allowing Angeles City to become a catalyst for proper and affordable public health care all throughout the country.