MANILA — Manila City Mayor Francisco ‘Isko Moreno’ Domagoso has partnered with the Santa Lucia International Eye Bank of Manila (SLIEB) to support the eye bank’s efforts to promote cornea and eye donations in the country.
A memorandum of agreement was signed between the Manila City government and the Eye Bank on Monday morning, May 17.
Likewise, Domagoso signed a donor card allowing the Eye Bank to harvest his eyes and corneas in the event of his death. The Mayor said his eyes would be donated to those in need.
“Sana sumunod na kayo,” Domagoso said. “Wala namang mawawala sa inyo kapag naging eye donor kayo. Ibig sabihin lang ay kung namatay kayo, may makikinabang pa rin sa mga mata ninyo.”
The Eye Bank is owned and operated by the Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines (EBFP) — which is a non-stock, non profit, non-government humanitarian organization that has been serving patients since 1995.
The Eye Bank is the only state-of-the-art eye banking facility in the country that evaluates and distributes donated eye tissue or corneas for use in transplantation, research, and education.
EBFP president and CEO Dr. Ma. Dominga ‘Minguita’ Padilla thanked Domagoso for supporting the Eye Bank and lauded him for signing up as an eye donor.
“Napaka-importante maging cornea donor kasi napakaraming tao sa Pilipinas at sa buong mundo na hindi makakakita kung hindi dahil sa transplant.” she said.
As such, Padilla hopes that even more people would be open to the idea of becoming eye donors. She added that there is a need to educate the public about the matter.
“Huwag kayong matakot maging eye donor,” she said, explaining that the eyes and corneas of the donors are harvested after they have died.
Padilla also pointed out that the eyes and corneas would still be useful to those in need of transplants. She remarked:
“Maraming tao na para sa kanila himala na ang makakita uli. Mayor Isko signed as an eye donor, sana marami pang gumaya sa kanya.”
For his part, Domagoso assured Padilla that the city’s district hospitals — the Gat Andres Bonifacio Medical Center, Justice Jose Abad Santos Memorial Medical Hospital, Ospital ng Maynila, Ospital ng Sampaloc, Ospital ng Tondo, and Sta. Ana Hospital — were committed to helping the Eye Bank achieve its mission to institutionalize cornea and eye donation in the Philippines. The Eye Bank itself is also located in Manila, specifically within the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) Compound.
(Kiara Lauren Ibanez/BENJAMIN CUARESMA/AI/MTVN)