By: Prof. Mark Anthony P. Lopez
Associate Editor, Ad Astra

          As part of the continuing initiatives for community development of Dr. Bobby D. Gerardo, University President, the “Children Health Care Program for Island Barangays in Carles, Iloilo” was launched at Piagao Primary School, Brgy. Granada, Gigantes Norte, Carles, Iloilo on May 12, 2002.


          PHILKOFA, KOICA and NISU funded the medical mission including the deworming, multivitamins and medicines which benefited one hundred forty-two (142) children ages 5 to 10 years old.


          “The PHILKOFA and KOICA approved the one-year implementation of the program, thus, this will become a regular program in Piagao Primary School,” said President Gerardo. Present during the opening program were Hon. Roberto Pestaño, Punong Barangay of Bgry. Granada, Mrs. Marul Sontosidad, Teacher-in-Charge of the Primary School, officials of the University and the parents and guardians who accompanied the children.


          The University President shared that his initiative in spearheading this kind of program is because of his experiences as a public servant active in community service and his childhood years growing up to a poor family where he and his brother had to help their parents for their daily needs.


          Through the effort of Dr. Andre D. Ravena, NISU Medical Officer, the University invited two physicians, Dr. Jendee Dalman and Dr. Mel Bryan Billones, from the Capiz Emmanuel Hospital to attend the medical needs of the children beneficiaries.


          The Office of the Extension Services also extended a “Feeding Program” to the beneficiaries to ease the discomforts while waiting for their turns.