BDO Foundation has completed the rehabilitation of 21 rural health units (RHUs) in 2021, bringing the total number of successfully rehabilitated RHUs since the start of the program in 2012 to 121. Through this initiative, the corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank has reached a total of more than 6.4 million beneficiaries, many of whom cannot afford the costs of consultations, outpatient care and medicines provided by hospitals.

The number of renovated RHUs in economically disadvantaged communities continues to grow as the foundation brings the project to more cities and municipalities and works with local government leaders and local health officers towards the attainment of a shared goal—to help improve the healthcare delivery system in the country.

Most recently, despite logistical limitations caused by COVID-19, BDO Foundation rehabilitated four health centers: San Miguel Municipal Health Office in Catanduanes, Motiong Rural Health Unit in Samar, Municipal Health Office Isabela in Negros Occidental and Municipal Health Center Lian in Batangas.

The foundation improved the RHUs’ layout and interior design, lobbies and waiting areas, offices, pharmacies, birthing clinics, consultation rooms, treatment rooms and facilities. New furniture and fixtures were installed to help health workers accommodate more patients. Moreover, play areas for children and waiting lounges for the comfortable use of the elderly were constructed.

With the improvements in place, health workers are now better equipped to provide healthcare services and help improve the health and well-being of underserved Filipinos.

According to Lian municipal health officer Dr. Eloisa Baylosis, “Lian has no hospitals or infirmaries, which is why we have to provide high-quality healthcare services.” 

“Our doctors, nurses and other staff are grateful that our humble town was chosen as a beneficiary. This is like a dream come true for us,” she said. “On behalf of our municipal government, I would like to express our gratitude to BDO Foundation for making our RHU a community-friendly health facility. May you continue in your pursuit of a better healthcare system in the Philippines.”

The rehabilitation program is BDO Foundation’s contribution to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal no. 3 to ensure healthy lives and promote the well-being of all people at all ages. The corporate citizenship initiative is critical especially during the pandemic as RHUs play a key role in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Health centers provide free antigen testing and help implement the vaccination programs of local government units.

The program is made possible by officers of BDO and BDO Network Bank branches, who recommend health centers that need assistance. As COVID-19 restrictions continue to limit travel, BDO branch heads represent BDO Foundation in the turn over of the RHUs by personally attending the inauguration and reopening of the health centers.