Philippines breaks record for most organ donor pledges inside 1 hour

(UPDATED) The Philippines is now the unofficial record holder of the most number of people as organ donors in just one hour.

According to the Department of Health (DOH), sans an official announcement from the Guinness World Record, the country on Friday was already able to eclipse the 2,755 record set by India last September 17.

"PUP (Polytechnic University of the Philippines) breaks Guinness World Record for most sign up as organ donor in one-hour with 3,548 pledges," declared DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Eric Tayag during the "Organ Donation Sign-Up Campaign: I Am a Lifeline" event in the campus based in Sta. Mesa, Manila.

Earlier, the DOH and the Philippine Network for Organ Sharing (PhilNOS) announced its bid to break two existing world records and establish two new ones on the number of people signing up people as organ donors.

Aside from breaking the one-hour, single site record, the country is also looking to top India's 10,450-record for the most number of organ donor pledges gathered in eight hours in a single site at the PUP.

The Philippines is also looking to set new records for one-hour, multiple sites and eight hours, multiple sites.

Aside from the feat in Manila, the country was also able to enlist thousands of organ donors in RTMC in San Fernando City in La Union (2,978); in L. Mamba Gym in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan (1,134); in Almendra's Gym in Davao City, Davao del Sur (944); and at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City (788), according to the DOH–National Capital Region.

The number of organ donor pledges from the one held in JMR Coliseum in Naga City, Camarines Sur remains unavailable as of press time.

Currently, the signing up in the six sites is continuing until 5 p.m.

DOH-PhilNOS Program Manager Dr. Antonio Paraiso said they do not have any representative from the Guinness World Records present citing lack of sufficient funds.

"We have six sites and we would need six adjudicators. Ang that ‘s going to cost us close to P3 million just to bring them in," said Paraiso in a separate interview.

Instead, the health official said that they will just opt to submit with Guinness whatever number they will come up with today.

"We will just follow their requirements and we have to submit our data within 10 days for them to review it," said Paraiso.

After submission, Paraiso said they will wait between "three weeks or three months" to know the results of the review of Guinness.

For his part, DOH Undersecretary Ted Herbosa said that aside from setting world records, the event also aims establish an initial registry of potential organ donors in the country in a bid to address the significant demand for organ donors in the Philippines.

"Organ donation saves lives and it is very important that every person has the power to save a life by becoming an organ, tissue or eye donor. It is a noble gift because you can give someone a second chance at life," said Herbosa, who was at the Quezon Memorial Circle.

Similarly, the official said the activity aims to intensify public awareness on the importance and benefits of organ donation and transplantation.

"By having more organ donors in the country, life-saving transplantations will make possible for more patients every year," Herbosa said.

Citing the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) survey in 2013, the health official noted that most Filipinos are willing to donate a part of their body but only to their immediate family and closest relatives.

On the other hand, PhilNOS data showed that among the most needed organs for transplantation are kidney, liver, lungs and heart. (HDT/Sunnex)
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