Sandugo: Seals citation of lifeline heroes

Gracefully clad in a modern Filipiniana, Capiz provincial government legal officer Ma. Leobeth D. Delicana is not geared, at least for the time being, for legal documents and business correspondence.

She is among the Blood Galloner awardees during the 12th Annual Provincial Sandugo Awards on July 28 in Roxas City in view of the National Blood Donors Month who recognizes those who made a significant impact on the lives of many by demonstrating compassion and selflessness through blood donation.

“As a lawyer, I have dedicated my career to advocating for the rights and welfare of individuals, fighting for justice and striving to make a positive impact in people’s lives. But it is in the act of voluntarily donating blood that I find a unique opportunity to contribute directly to their wellbeing, providing a lifeline that transcends legal battles and courtroom debates. It is a humbling experience to know that a simple act of giving can bring hope, healing and comfort to another person and their loved ones,” stressed Delicana, who has already donated blood on 11 occasions.

The lawyer has been a former Red Cross Youth member and presently among the Board of Directors of the Philippine Red Cross – Capiz chapter.

Another lawyer Remia D. Fuentes Bartolome is also a Blood Gallooner awardee after having donated a total of 3,600cc of blood in her last eight voluntary blood donations.

“My motivation to donate blood stems from my experience of helping someone whom I respect and the realization on how important it is to have an equitable access to safe and quality blood at all times,” said Bartolome, who is also a member of the Chapter’s BOD.

The ‘Dugtong Buhay’ bloodletting activity of the Capiz Information Center (InfoCen) of the Philippine Information Agency and its supervised Capiz Association of Government Public Information Officers (CAGPIO) was also recognized as Top 2 Performing Non-Local Government Unit mass blood donation activity organizer for its 204 blood donors who successfully donated blood last March 25, 2022.

The Infocen’s life-saving initiative, now in its 12th year, was also awarded a Testimonial Plaque by PRC chair and Chief Executive Officer Richard G. Gordon or its invaluable support extended to the PRC accounting to more than 1,000 blood units of blood supplied for the vulnerable segment of the society.

The other awardees also come from the various facets of life like firemen, nurses, students, government employees, barangay officials, law enforcement authorities, vendors, and Persons with Disabilities, among others.

The award honors the remarkable achievement of individuals who have shown exceptional dedication and commitment to the cause of voluntary blood donation in 2022.

The Chapter was able to serve more than 5,000 patients out of the 11,006 blood units collected through the various mass bloodletting activities last year. The accomplishment translates to 1.34 percent of the province’s total population.

“What distinguishes this year’s event which is extraordinary courage that they have brought out is the truest selfless test of our blood donors for their donation especially we have seen this during the time of COVID-19 pandemic,” said PRC secretary general Dr. Gwendolyn T. Pang.

The PRC official added that blood donation continues to flow in the veins of the Capiceno even during the pandemic stressing that a total of 31,166 blood units were collected from 2020 to 2022 amid the pandemic restrictions and regulations.

Voluntary blood donation has surpassed the annual provincial target of about 8,800 in the last three years.

“And what I was so proud of is that 31,166 units of blood were able to save 14,119 patients,” she noted, adding that some of the blood units collected were also sent to other parts of the country for the patients in need of it.

The Sandugo Awards is a joint initiative of the PRC and the Provincial Health Office to shine a spotlight on the heroes of voluntary blood donation by acknowledging their courage, highlighting the lifesaving impact of their gifts and encouraging continued dedication to the noble cause.

It is a call to everyone, regardless of social status, to turn their thoughts to and be inspired to emulate the men and women who freely and voluntarily give part of themselves to those in need of blood and its components.

Living for others is undoubtedly a rule of nature, and life itself is enriched when one finds happiness and it becomes even more fulfilling when others experience happiness because of you.