Speech of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay for the blessing and dedication of the Dr. Baltazar V. Reyes Building, The One Algon Place Foundation, 4 August 2012
Maraming salamat po sa inyong mainit na pagtanggap. Ikinagagalak ko pong makapiling kayo upang masaksihan ang pagbabasbas ng isang gusaling tutugon sa paghatid ng lunas at kalinga sa mga kapatid nating dumudulog sa One Algon Place.
This new facility could not have been named after a more fitting figure. Neither could it have risen in a more appropriate place.
Dr. Baltazar Velasquez Reyes was a cornerstone of the science of Psychiatry in this country. His list of contributions run longer than his time with us and when he passed, he left the nation with a vibrant, dynamic and responsive pool of doctors who are second to none.
He was mainly associated with the work he did at the Philippine General Hospital, having been the Founding Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry in 1964. From that time, he unknowingly built a legacy that would stretch beyond his mortal life. The department continuously and proudly forged legions of eminent practitioners, researchers and equally important, teachers. In advancing the state of mental health care in the country, he worked to ensure that the nation’s growing needs would be matched by an able pool of dedicated doctors and that those who found their vocation in psychiatry would be mentored well.
PGH was his second amniotic fluid but his presence was felt everywhere. He practiced in other hospitals such as Medical City and Manila Doctors’ and in my home city of Makati, Dr. Reyes was also Chairman Emeritus of the Neuropsychiatry Department of the Makati Medical Center. When he was finally called home, the tributes paid by countless doctors and ordinary people who found new life because of his dedication, showed all of us how his hands changed so many lives.
This desire to grant new life to those battling struggles of various degrees is also shared by the One Algon Place Foundation. In this tranquil environment, people in need of help, support and proper care can find new hope and the courage to face their fears and reclaim their dignity. The Foundation is a quiet champion of this noble cause and this new structure is proof of their dedication, and the love that goes into their undertakings.
This place is truly an oasis for those who crossed their own personal deserts and have yearned to find calm and recovery from all their ills. And there are many of them among us who suffer and who cloak their pain from everyone for fear of abuse and condemnation. Indeed, all of us on earth fight our own personal battles but some will not find the will to win alone.
Our government through the Department of Health has adopted a National Mental Health Policy which prioritizes the promotion of mental health, the protection of the rights and freedoms of persons with mental diseases and the reduction of the burden and consequences of mental ill-health, mental and brain disorders and disabilities. We, most especially Secretary Ona, are determined to translate this policy into the various programs of government taking great care to be holistic and inclusive.
Kasama po sa pinagtutuunan ng pansin ng aking tanggapan ay ang mental health ng ating mga Overseas Filipino Workers at ng kanilang mga pamilya. Mahirap po ang mawalay sa mga mahal sa buhay. Ang depression o iba pang mental health problems ay maaring madebelop habang ang ating mga kababayan ay nasa ibayong dagat.
Bilang tugon, isa po sa aming mga programa para sa mga OFW ay ang Value Formation Seminars sa tulong ng Overseas Workers Welfare Administration. These seminars help families deal or cope with absence or temporary separation from the spouse/father/mother. In coordination with manning agencies and other organizations, psycho-social counseling and stress debriefing services are also offered to help families whose members are stranded seafarers or victims of piracy and other sea disasters.
Sa mga kababayan natin na nailigtas mula sa mga peligrosong lugar o ‘di kaya’y mapang-abusong mga employers, kasama po sa hinahatid naming lunas ang counseling para sa trauma at stress.
Ngunit hindi lang po ang mga kapatid nating OFW ang maaring dumaan sa ganitong uri ng paghihirap. Marahil sa ating pang-araw-araw na buhay, marami tayong nakikitang bihag ng ganitong sakit. Hindi rin po malayong ang iba sa ating mga kaibigan o kamag-anak ay may mental illness o condition na nilalabanan at nahihiyang humingi ng saklolo sa atin.
Ako po’y natutuwa na ang private sector ay patuloy na kumakalinga sa ating mga kapatid na nangangailangan. The government alone cannot solve this problem quickly enough, and our people should not have to endure their ordeals longer than they have to. I am truly happy to see the One Algon Place Foundation erect a place where these travails can meet a happy end, and I wish you nothing but the greatest blessings and success.
Maraming salamat po.
Mabuhay kayong lahat.