LEGAZPI CITY – Some 3,000 locals here, who came from all sectors of the society, joined the "Walk for Safe Blood" on Friday, which was spearheaded by the city government as part of the annual celebration of the National Blood Donors' and Nutrition Month.
July has been designated as National Blood Donors' Month pursuant to Presidential Proclamation Number 1021 signed by President Fidel V. Ramos in 1997. It aims to emphasize the need for more people to become lifesavers by voluntary and regularly donating blood.
Friday's activity was spearheaded by the Legazpi City Health Office Blood Council in cooperation with the Department of Health (DOH) Bicol Regional Office.
With the theme “Give Blood, Share Life,” the three-kilometer brisk walk started from the Peñaranda Park in front of City Hall building going to the Legazpi City Convention Center and was followed by a Eucharistic Mass.
In his message, Mayor Noel E. Rosal said that the activity was part of the city government's support to the implementation of Republic Act 7719 or the National Blood Services Act of 1994, in order to promote voluntary blood donation as a humanitarian act of saving someone's life.
He asked the participants, especially the village officials, to encourage their constituents to always participate in blood-letting activities, and to continue to promote the voluntary donation practice so that the city would always have adequate supply of safe blood for transfusion.
The city administration wants to construct a blood bank station with modern facilities and equipment to strengthen the health services it gives to the people, Rosal pointed out.
The city chief executive, meanwhile, said the construction of the Legazpi City Hospital in Barangay Bitano is now on its final stage and the facility is expected to be operational soon.
Upon completion of the project, he said the city government will need PHP80 to PHP100 million yearly for its operations, including the payment of salaries of all medical personnel, electricity and other expenses.
The mayor revealed that the design of the building is one of the most modern among the public health facilities in the entire Bicol region.
City Health Officer (CHO) Dr. Fulbert Gillego, for his part, said his office is now celebrating the 10th year of its blood services program.
He said because of the continuous conduct of blood-letting activities in different villages of the city from January to July this year, they have already collected 986 blood bags.
Gillego said all the collected blood have been forwarded to the DOH regional blood center for processing, testing and releasing.
He thanked the city administration under the leadership of Mayor Rosal for always supporting the blood services program of Legazpi City.
Present during the "Walk for Safe Blood" were City Councilor Lilibeth Munoz Dimaculangan, together with representatives from coordinating agencies such as the DOH, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, Technical Operation Group Regional Office 5, Philippine Army, Philippine Red Cross, students of Divine World College, Aquinas University and Bicol University, and members of the media. (PNA)