JUST BEFORE COVID-19 QUARANTINE
TINUBDAN, San Fernando, Cebu (March 16, 2020) — Residents in two hinterland barangays in San Fernando, Cebu received timely medical attention just before government placed Cebu under quarantine to contain and prevent the spread of the dreaded Corona Virus Disease of 2019 (CoViD-19) that has become a global pandemic.
Solid Earth Development Corp. (SEDC) served a total of 1,187 patients when it sent separate medical missions to the mountain villages of Ilaya up the town’s northern border with Naga City on Feb. 15 and in this midland barangay last Saturday, March 14.
Both missions attended to some 432 adults and 507 children, plus 32 others who had dental issues and 216 who got new spectacles to be able to read, bared Mitzie Almira I. Carin, SEDC human resources and administration division manager.
Ilaya hillsfolk gathered at the open space beside the barangay hall along the road, while Tinubdan locals gathered at Ciriaco V. Paradela (Tinubdan) Elementary School already observing social distancing when the World Health Organization declared a global CoViD-19 pandemic last March 12.
Florida Paca, 81, of Purok Mangga, Ilaya, said it was the second time she availed of the medical mission that SEDC sent four times now with its primary client, Taiheiyo Cement Philippines, Inc. (TCPI).
Both allied firms first sent one to Ilaya in July 2010 that attended to 390 residents, then in February 2014 that served 503 folks, and again in July 2017 that took care of 737 patients.
“Daghan ko’g gipamati sa akong lawas, sakit akong kabukugan, labad sa ulo ug kanunay dili ko ganahan mokaon. Wala pa jud ko naka pa check-up kay wa ko’y ikabayad,” shared Paca. (There are a lot that my body feels, my bones are in pain, my head aches and I always don’t feel like eating.)
In this mission, she said the doctor told her she has cataract, and that it needs to be operated on at the hospital, but said she would not have funds for it and would settle with what would relieve her with her other ailments.
“Gitagaan ra ko’g tambal sa katol-katol, lain para sa sakit sa kabukugan ug mga bitamina. Dako gyud kaayu ni’g ikatabang nako,” she said. (I got medicines for itchiness, another for muscle pains and some vitamins. These really are a big help.)
In Tinubdan, Monina Alicaway, 49, of Purok Gumamela, brought her four grandchildren who had fever and cough, and was very pleased they were being attended to since the barangay is far from the nearest clinic or hospital.
“Init kaayo ang panahon, dali masakit ang mga bata ug, ilabi na pud nga naay virus karon, maayo ni’ng nahatagan og vitamin C ang mga tao para mas lig-on ang resistensya ug dili dali masakit,” she said.
(The season is so humid, kids easily get sick and, especially when there’s virus now, it is good the people got vitamin C to have strong resistance so that they will not get sick easily.)
It was the fifth time since SEDC with TCPI sent a medical mission to Tinubdan, first in November 2007 that attended to 580 residents, then in October 2012 that served 826 folks, also in September 2015 when it aided 658 locals, and last in September 2018 that took care of 713 patients.
SEDC director Hiroyuki Sakakibara oversaw the Ilaya mission with his fellow senior technical adviser Masatsune Takeyasu.
TCPI plant manager Chiyuki Sugawara, also senior vice president for operations, gave support with his assistant for engineering Kimitoshi Yoshida and HRA vice president Takuya Nose, who also helped in Tinubdan that Sakakibara’s successor as SEDC director, Motohiro Tonsho, oversaw for the first time.
Community leaders came in full force, led by Ilaya barangay captain Cecilia S. Cañalita and backed by councilors Marcelino M. Pegarido, Marlou O. Sasam and Jhoan S. Brady, and also Tinubdan councilor Lolita Pinatil.
Some staff of supplier Triple 8 Resources Development Corp. led by safety manager Manuelo Moratin also supported SEDC and TCPI employees who provided manpower for the two missions.
The series of medical missions SEDC sent with TCPI since 2005 have to date had served 33,909 patients.