ROTARY International (RI) board of director Noel Trevaskis and Lady Sue, who represented RI President Ian Riseley at Rotary District 3850 conference held in Bacolod City, lauded the serious contribution of Filipino Rotarians in fighting polio.
The polio-free drive, which was launched in the Philippines 30 years ago through the initiative of then RI president Clem Renouf, was highlighted at the opening ceremonies Thursday, March 8, of Discon 2018 at L' Fisher Hotel.
Of the million polio cases recorded since the launched of the program worldwide, only 74 remained in three countries - Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan.
Trevaskis said: "We have almost completed the task, this will only be the second feat in the history of mankind where a disease has been eradicated from the planet. Once polio is eradicated, it is estimated $1 billion will be saved annually by not having to immunize against polio. Think of all the children who will not have to worry about being crippled by polio and the parents and families who won't live in fear that their children may end up with polio.”
He added every Rotarian can say they have helped contribute in the eradication of polio.
"Rotary is not exclusive but inclusive, it is more than local, it is universal. Rotary does not pick on someone's vulnerability, it tries to build on merits," he said.
He said Rotary is very effective because “we are connected as a part of the international organization. Our internationality knows no barriers. Rotary shines above others due to the fact that we have such a strong global network. It is now quite easy for Rotarians to improve the quality of life of an unknown person on the other side of the world and give them dignity, integrity, and hope for the future.”
He urged everyone to support those people who are in need.
Themed "Experience Asia," the Rotary International District 3850 Conference, which kicked off Thursday, will run until March 10.
District Governor Enigardo Legislador Jr. declared open the Discon on same day in the presence of some 600 Rotarians from Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, Basilan, Zamboanga, Tawi-Tawi, Misamis Occidental, Guimaras, and Panay provinces.
He said it was a roller coaster ride for him in his nine months as governor but he continued to serve with a heart. He added it inspired him to work despite the fact that he has been going to the geographically-challenged district.
"I have seen smiling faces with varying expressions of gratitude and the outpouring of love from the people you've served. There is nothing more empowering and fulfilling than serving from the heart. We have done much and I know that our district will continue to soar high in the coming years," he said.
Legislador presented the incoming District Governor-elect Lindon See Diet of the Rotary Club of Dipolog; District Governor nominee Rafael Leonardo Tayco of the Rotary Club of Kalibo and District Governor nominee-designate Louis Mariano Gonzaga of the Rotary Club of Bacolod North.