NAGA CITY (PIA)—Department of Health Center for Health Development and Field Implementation and Coordination Team (FICT) Chief Usec Nestor F. Santiago Jr., led the DOH Bicol CHD’s 11th Serbisyong Salud Bikolnon (SSB) Awards and Araw ng Pasasalamat held Jan. 13 at the Marison Hotel, Legazpi City.
More than 200 awardees and honorees were given Plaques of Recognition for their invaluable contribution to the implementation of the DOH programs, especially at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SSB award was Usec Santiago’s brainchild way back in 2009.
“We started this in 2009 siguro and I personally would like to thank our regional directors na nakaraan sa CHD Bicol because they continued to recognize and give awards to our partners that are really very supportive to our health programs, for its implementation,’ the health official said.
Usec Santiago added that the tenacity of the front liners, health personnel, health partners, the media, and other support groups during the time that the novel coronavirus was still an unfamiliar and strange word to everyone, was truly commendable.
“So, ang challenge lang kasi sa atin ngayon, alhough we have learned more lessons, especially during the pandemic, we also want to recognize the efforts of all the stakeholders especially the national government agencies and private sector. Aside of course sa LGUs na talagang kayo po ang nandyan sa frontline,” Santiago said.
The health official was also grateful that the usual virtual meetings, gatherings, and recognition finally came to an end after COVID cases started to recede and the vaccination rate picked up last year.
“It is an honor to speak before you during this much-anticipated recognition event long desired by the Department of Health Bicol but long postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been too long years since we last had the opportunity. I remember the last Salud Bicolnon Awards was held in December 2019 just before that,[COVID] was then referred to as the Novel Coronavirus [that] brought the world to a standstill.”
Usec Santiago said that it is important to look back and recognize DOH’s partners who have helped them hurdle the challenge brought by the pandemic.
“I believe it is important to recognize the exemplary practices and performances of the local government units, national government agencies, health facilities, stakeholders, and other health partners in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic as during such time, we are all focused on the immediate health crisis. To have excelled in the other implementation of other health programs, services, and interventions while simultaneously dealing with COVID-19 is a considerable feat that deserves to be recognized and celebrated.”
The annual event, which finally resumed after most of the COVID restrictions were lifted, gave a glimpse of how health implementers challenged their own capacity to reach out and look at the welfare of others despite their fear and uncertainties.
These exemplary deeds, Santiago said, should be recognized and appreciated as it has greatly contributed to the nation’s realization of Universal Health Care. (PIA5/Camarines Sur)
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