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One of the worst things about being a doctor is this: you sit your patient down, examine her and you notice her threadbare clothes, shoes that are worn and cracked, the sad, anxious look. Smell the sour, sweaty smell of someone who took public transport to get to you and walked some distance under the heat of the sun.
And you can tell going to a doctor is not something she does on a regular basis. Just something she does when something really really realllllly hurts—incapacitating, blinding pain not the run-of-the-mill pain that rich folks have checked just because it’s annoying.

They come to you when some body part is bleeding, oozing with some fluid, bent at a real weird angle and has incapacitated her in some real and significant, hard-to-ignore way---usually when it gets in the way of their earning a living. (But if it’s just their sleep that’s disturbed or it it’s just them puking their brains out, they bear it. Bear it. Bear it.)

And they come to you after they’ve exhausted all means--praying to all the saints and to God and to their guardian angels, tried the herbs in Quiapo Church, gone to the village quack who adds more injury on top of the original injury and has thus, made her medical condition even more challenging.
And finally, you find out what it is that ails her and you tell her she needs to be confined and you write out a prescription of life saving medication for her.
And this is where you lose her---the connection you carefully built, shattered because she has tuned you out. She no longer hears you.
Once you start talking about hospitalization, medicines, tests, she is out that door even as she continues to be physically present—but this time, with a distant look in her eyes.
And that faraway look is because she has retreated into that part of her that knows the road ahead for her will be filled with suffering or that she will die soon. Because there is no money for anything extra for the poor. How can there be when they scrounge around for even just where to get their next meal?
They lead such tight, tight lives that cannot tolerate a setback—no matter how minor. Something that might set us back for a few weeks, can mean something they can never climb out of.
And this is how poverty becomes the vicious cycle that traps them for generations—where the only thing they can give their children, besides the life of strife and grief they grew up in as children, is the continuation of this life of endless strife and grief well into their adulthood and until they finally leave this earth—never knowing the joys, the delights we, who are better-situated enjoy. Travel, education, books, good health, good food, the ability to lead the lives of our choosing—empowered, empowering.
And this is how it’s been with us since time immemorial.
And health--like transportation, like education, like shelter, like employment opportunities, etc-- is a social justice issue MORE THAN ANYTHING—and where the lack of it, a most effective weapon that makes sure the poor stay poor for all time.
And then, quite suddenly, on Rodrigo Duterte’s 6th month in office, the announcement is made: hospitalization will be free –and medicines too!--for poor Filipinos.
I am shaking my head in disbelief. How has this come to pass?
No Filipino will be turned away from government hospitals because they do not have the money. NONE. NO ONE. And they can, as CabSec Ubial says, “Leave hospitals with no billings balance.” Let the government take care of that.
Let. The. Government. Take. Care. Of. THAT.
And the Filipino who has, all his life, known nothing but grief from a thieving, inept, indifferent government—deaf to the cries of its people—well, this Filipino is blinking his eyes in disbelief.
“Can you again that please?” “Slowly by slowly now.”
For the first time in DOH’s history, the department is in good financial standing after the Budget Dept paid the arrears of 32 billion from the 42 billion deficits of Philhealth.
And this got done because the President wanted this done. Willed it to be done.
And this is what he told the Sec. “Just take care of the poor, I’ll take care where to find the money.”
Oh Digongmylabs, I don’t think I can possibly love you any more than I do now.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
My heaped up heart thanks you.
I see my country, climbing out of the dark hole and getting out of the chains that’s held her for decades now.. little at a time..
I know it’s just December 19. And I know Dec 25 is when we’re supposed to celebrate Christmas.
But if the message of Christmas is AUDACIOUS HOPE, then yes, Christmas came early in 2016.
MALIGAYANG PASKO, MGA KABABAYAN KO!
<3 <3 <3

Yesterday, we have reported that all State Universities and Colleges in the Philippines will offer education to Filipino nationals for absolutely free starting next year. This, after the Congress and Senate moved to include the 8 Billion pesos additional budget for the Commission on Higher Education (CHED). 

This only means that all students studying at universities and colleges listed below will no longer have to pay for any tuition fee. Yes, Filipinos can now get their degree at no-cost at all!



Not sure if you are enrolled to an SUC? Check this out to see if your school is on the list. 

UPDATE: Here's a Tweet from Senator Sonny Angara confirming this news. Unless President Duterte decides to veto the 2017 GAA/ National Budget which is very unlikely, this news is as good as approved. Pirma nalang po ang kulang mga bes! :)

Region VI – Western Visayas

President Danilo E. Abayon

AKLAN STATE UNIVERSITY
Banga, Aklan
Tel.: (036) 267-6777 Banga; 268-8992 Kalibo; 289-2183 Ibajay; 276-6304 Makato; 264-3567 New Washington
Website: www.asu.edu.ph
President Editha L. Magallanes

CAPIZ STATE UNIVERSITY
Roxas City, Capiz
Tel.: (036) 621-4337; 621-3514
Website: www.capsu.edu.ph
President Renato M. Sorolla

CARLOS HILADO MEMORIAL STATE COLLEGE
Talisay City, Negros Occidental
Tel.: (034) 495-2360; 495-4064 TF
Website: www.chmsc.edu.ph
President Sofronio D. Dignomo

GUIMARAS STATE COLLEGE
Buenvista, Guimaras
Tel.: (033) 580-5614; 580-8244 TF
Email: gscbrdsec@yahoo.com
President Ma. Rosario A. Panes

ILOILO STATE COLLEGE OF FISHERIES
Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo
Tel.: (033) 361-2417 TF
Email: rapanes@yahoo.com
President Freddie C. Maningo

NEGROS STATE COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE
Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental
Tel.: (034) 471-3495 F; 0920-623-8718
President Joel P. Limson

NORTHERN ILOILO POLYTECHNIC STATE COLLEGE
Estancia, Iloilo
Tel.: (033) 397-0314; 397-0315 TF
Email: jojo42363@yahoo.com
President Romulo T. Sisno

NORTHERN NEGROS STATE COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Sagay City, Negros Occidental
Tel.: (034) 722-4120 TF; +63939-939-0436
Email: president@nonescost.edu.ph
Website: www.nonescost.edu.ph
President Victor E. Navarra

UNIVERSITY OF ANTIQUE
Santiago Lotilla Street, Sibalom, Antique
Tel.: (036) 543-8124; 543-8161 TF
Email: ua@antiquespride.edu.ph
Website: www.antiquespride.edu.ph
President Luis M. Sorolla Jr.

WESTERN VISAYAS COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
Burgos St., La Paz, Iloilo City
Tel.: (033) 320-7190; 329-4274 F
Email: sorolla_wvcst@yahoo.com
Website: http://new.wvcst.edu.ph
President Pablo E. Subong Jr.

WEST VISAYAS STATE UNIVERSITY
Luna St., La Paz, Iloilo City
Tel.: (033) 320-0870 to 78
Email: president@wvsu.edu.ph
Website: http://wvsu.edu.ph


Region VII – Central Visayas

President Marcelo T. Lopez

CEBU NORMAL UNIVERSITY
Osmeña Boulevard, Cebu City
Tel.: (032) 254-0067
Website: http://cnu.edu.ph
President Bonifacio S. Villanueva

CEBU TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY
Cor. M.J. Cuenco Ave. and R. Palma St., Cebu City
Tel.: (032) 412-1399; 256-2657; 416-6706 F
Email: information@ctu.edu.ph
Website: www.ctu.edu.ph
President Elpidio T. Magante

BOHOL ISLAND STATE UNIVERSITY
Carlos P. Garcia North Ave., Tagbiliran City
Tel.: (038) 411-3289 loc. 103; 501-7516; 235-4871
Website: www.bisu.edu.ph
President Henry A. Sojor

NEGROS ORIENTAL STATE UNIVERSITY
Kagawasan Avenue, Dumaguete City
Tel.: (035) 225-9400
Email: info@norsu.edu.ph; president@norsu.edu.ph
Website: www.norsu.edu.ph
President Baldomero R. Martinez Jr.

SIQUIJOR STATE COLLEGE
Larena, Siquijor
Tel.: (035) 377-2222 to 23 TF


Region VIII – Eastern Visayas

President Reynaldo A. Lombrio

EASTERN SAMAR STATE COLLEGE
Borongan, Eastern Samar
Tel.: (055) 261-3500; 271-2095; 261-2725 TF
Website: www.essu.edu.gov.ph
President Catalino B. Beltran

EASTERN VISAYAS STATE UNIVERSITY
Aquino Avenue, Tacloban City, Leyte
Tel.: (053) 321-2185; 321-2186 TF
Website: www.evsu.edu.ph
President Evelyn C. Cruzada

LEYTE NORMAL UNIVERSITY
Tacloban City, Leyte
Tel.: (053) 321-2471; 325-6122 F
Website: www.lnu.edu.ph
President Edita Sabonsolin-Genson

NAVAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Naval, Biliran
Tel.: (053) 500-9045 TF
Website: www.nsu.edu.ph
President Socorro O. Bohol

NORTHWEST SAMAR STATE UNIVERSITY
Calbayog City, Samar
Tel.: (055) 209-1784; 209-3657 TF
President Delia T. Combista

PALOMPON INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
Evangelista St., Palompon, Leyte
Tel.: (053) 555-9844 TL; 555-9841; 338-2082; 338-2501 TF
Email: information@pit.edu.ph
Website: www.pit.edu.ph
President Simon P. Babalcon Jr. 

SAMAR STATE UNIVERSITY
Catbalogan, Samar
Tel: (055) 251-2139 loc. 220; 543-8394 TF
Email: sspc@moscom.com
Website: www.ssu.edu.ph
President Gloria M. Reyes

SOUTHERN LEYTE STATE UNIVERSITY
Sogod, Southern Leyte
Tel: (053) 382-2003; 382-3294 TF
Website: www.slsuonline.edu.ph
President Jose L. Bacusmo

VISAYAS STATE UNIVERSITY
Visca, Baybay City, Leyte
Tel.: (053) 335-2600; 335-2601 TF; 0928-520-0329
Website: www.vsu.edu.ph
President Mar P. De Asis

UNIVERSITY OF EASTERN PHILIPPINES
University Town, Catarman, Northern Samar
Tel.: (055) 251-8611; 354-1414; 354-1347 TF
Email: uephil@eudora.com
Website: www.uep.edu.ph


Region IX – Zamboanga Peninsula

President Hji. Nasser A. Salain

BASILAN STATE COLLEGE
Isabela City, Basilan
Tel.: (062) 200-3850; 200-7523 F
President: Carlicita A. Saniel

JOSEFINA H. CERILLES STATE COLLEGE
San Miguel, Zamboanga del Sur
Tel.: (062) 925-0659 TF
Email: jhcsc.main@yahoo.com
President Edgar S. Balbuena

JOSE RIZAL MEMORIAL STATE COLLEGE
Dapitan City, Zamboanga del Norte
Tel.: (065) 213-6707; 213-6444 F
Website: www.jrmsu.edu.ph
OIC-President Abdurasa S. Arasid

SULU STATE COLLEGE
Jolo, Sulu
Tel.: 0926-779-1997; 0908-722-2683
Officer-In-Charge Moh. Asady M. Hussin

TAWI-TAWI REGIONAL AGRICULTURAL COLLEGE
Bongao, Tawi-Tawi
Tel.: (068) 268-1000; 0918-416-0659
President Milabel Enriquez-Ho

WESTERN MINDANAO STATE UNIVERSITY
Normal Road, San Jose, Zamboanga City
Tel.: (062) 991-3840; 992-4238 TF
Email: wmsu@wmsu.edu.ph
Website: www.wmsu.edu.ph
President Nora M. Ponce

ZAMBOANGA CITY STATE POLYTECHNIC COLLEGE
Zamboanga City
Tel.: (062) 991-3815 TF
Email: zcspc@yahoo.com
President Milavel D. Nazario

ZAMBOANGA STATE COLLEGE OF MARINE SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY
Fort Pilar, Zamboanga City
Tel.: (062) 992-3092; 991-0777 TF
Email: mnazario@zscmst.edu.ph
Website: www.zscmst.edu.ph

Jay Castro

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