SUBIC BAY FREEPORT - The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) has joined forces with party-list Cooperative NATCCO Network Party (Coop-NATCCO) and civic groups in the Subic Bay area to bring medical assistance and donations to residents of remote Ayta communities.
Two separate projects coordinated respectively by the SBMA Public Relations Department and the Media Production Department, brought medical assistance to 200 residents of Kanawan village in Morong, Bataan; and clothes, toys and foodstuff to around 80 families in Barangay Naugsol in Subic, Zambales.
Both areas are communities populated largely by indigenous Ayta folks and have limited access to medical services and modern amenities.
In the first project held on January 15, Rep. Anthony Bravo of Coop-NATCCO, along with some representatives of Philip Morris, brought medicine for residents of Kanawan, while the SBMA sent doctors and nurses from its Public Health and Safety Department (PHSD) to provide free medical checkups. They were joined by some volunteers from the Philippine Medical Society (PMS) in Olongapo City.
Armie Llamas of the SBMA Public Relations Department, who coordinated the project, said it was Coop-NATCCO's first time to go to Kanawan, and the group teamed up with the SBMA, which has conducted similar projects in the area.
A lot of elderly residents also took the opportunity for the free medical consultation, noting that the last time they received medical attention was some three years ago because of their remote location. The village is located about 30 kilometers from the Subic Bay Freeport and can only be accessed via a hanging bridge.
Rep. Bravo checked out the village for any area suitable for growing cacao, a tropical tree that yields cocoa beans, the main ingredient of coffee and chocolate.
On January 18, close to 200 children belonging to 80 families in Naugsol, Subic, received bags of goodies donated by residents and civic organizations in Olongapo City and the Subic Bay area.
The post-Holiday gift-giving project was coordinated by disc jockeys from 89.5 FM Subic Bay Radio, a broadcast facility under the SBMA Media Production Department (SBMA-MPD).
SBMA-MPD head Rhon Balingit said the donations included canned goods, rice, new clothes, and new toys provided by various donors.
Among those who joined the outreach project in Naugsol were representatives of Ocampo's Mall in Olongapo City, members of Delta Isda radio auxiliary group, and officials of Barangay Naugsol.
Naugsol is a remote village located at the eastern fringe of the Subic municipality and has become the resettlement site for Ayta indigenous people uprooted by the Pinatubo eruption in 1991. (30) (Jezzica Castro and Sharmaine Viray)
Organizers of the January 15 medical mission to the Kanawan Ayta village join Coop-NATCCO Rep. Anthony Bravo (3rd from left, standing) for a photo opportunity with SBMA Public Relations head Armie Lllamas and Dr. Eve Natividad (seated) of the Philippine Medical Society-Olongapo City Chapter.