IT HAS become a personal tradition for President Rodrigo Duterte to visit the cancer-stricken children of the House of Hope of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) every holiday season.
Despite his busy schedule, the President always allots time to drop by at the center every year.
On December 28, Duterte paid a visit at the SPMC Children’s Cancer Institute and gave gifts to 47 pediatric cancer patients. The kids were treated to a meal and were entertained by mascots.
Upon his arrival, the President interacted with the children as well as their parents and hospital staff. He personally handed the toys and cash gifts to the children, some of whom were in their wheelchair.
He showed fatherly love by hugging and planting kiss to the children’s forehead. He also granted selfie requests from the cancer patients and photo opportunity from the staff.
Present during his visit were SPMC medical chief Dr. Leopoldo Vega and House of Hope program director Dr. Mae Dolendo.
Dolendo said President Duterte has been visiting the children every December for over a decade to share time with them. His visit boosts their moral, even to those who are providing quality care for the children.
“His visits are always an inspiration to us all - patients, parents, healthcare workers, and child cancer advocates,” Dolendo said.
House of Hope caters to over 200 pediatric cancer patients who are brought to the SPMC Cancer Institute yearly.
Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, who was with the President during the visit, said the children of the House of Hope are close to the heart of the President.
The President is supportive of the plans and programs of the charity to address the medical needs of the patients, Go added.
He shared that this year, Duterte donated his house in Margarita Village along J.P. Laurel Avenue, Davao City to the House of Hope, a charity group providing temporary shelter to children with cancer and their caretaker. (JCR)