Updated: Apr 11
Mr. Arcatomy Guarin, Dr. Junice Demetrio-Melgar, Hon. Raffy C. Dualan led the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
On February 8, 2023, Likhaan welcomed guests and well-wishers to the formal opening of the FP-RH clinic based in Malainen Park in Naic Cavite. This is the 10th women-and-youth-centered Likhaan facility based in poor and disadvantaged communities, in this case displaced from homes in Metro Manila. Likhaan began its health care-organizing-and-local advocacy program in 2021 at the behest of Likhaan community organizers and patients who used to live in informal settlements in Tondo, Manila prior to their eviction-and-relocation. Here, they joined thousands of other families now sheltered in rowhouses built by the mayor of Naic. But while they had better housing facilities, the residents are far from government health and social services, including sexual and reproductive health services for Women and Youth.
Likhaan Clinic at Malainen Park Naic, Cavite.
Likhaan’s services began with occasional outreach services from Likhaan’s central clinic in Quezon City. With the pandemic, the frequency of the outreach services increased, a development welcomed by the Rural Health Unit staff who were then occupied with Covid. The pandemic was a lucky opportunity for Likhaan to elicit funding support from the Philippine Center for Population and Development (PCPD) and later housing support in the form of housing unit for clinic use from Mayor Raffy Dualan.
Cavite Outreach September 2021
Cavite Outreach October 2021
The opening of the Naic Clinic formalized the regularization of Likhaan’s clinic-organizing-and local advocacy program with the deployment of a project staff of 5, 4 of whom are now residents of Naic.
Brgy. Chair Larry Riman, Dr. Junice Demeterio-Melgar, Councilor of Health, Hon. Sonny Atienza, Mayor Raffy Dualan, , PCPD’s Officer-in-Charge/Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Tom Guarin, Medical Officer III RHU Dr. Carolina Matel.
Special guests at the opening were Mayor Raffy Dualan, , PCPD’s Officer-in-Charge/Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Tom Guarin, Councilor and Chair of the Health Committee Sonny Atienza, Brgy. Chair Larry Riman, other councilors, homeowner officers, and Rural Health Unit staff. Also in attendance were representatives of the 150-strong, newly organized PILAKKK-Naic (Pinagsamang Lakas ng Kababaihan, Kabataan at lahat ng Kasarian) and the President of the PWD Federation of Naic, Jelyn Aricayos, who has been a strong partner of Likhaan since we started there.
In their talks, Mayor Dualan expressed his appreciation for Likhaan’s services for relocates, whom he expected to reach 60,000 in the coming years. OIC Director Tom Guarin shared his familiarity with medical projects for disadvantaged communities as a Rotary Club officer and pledged his support for similar initiatives. And Dr. Carolina Matel, Medical Officer III of Naic’s Rural Health Unit, warmly welcomed the project and project staff in the same way that she said she was warmly welcomed by Naic years before.
Quotable quotes from her that resonate well with Likhaan are:
“The first step to responsible motherhood is taking good care of yourself as a woman. Before you take care of your family and children, you have to take good care of yourself.”
“Women who have lost hope and have no one to turn to can always turn to community women, midwives and women-nurses for help.”
To close the program, Mary Jane Judilla, Likhaan’s senior community organizer for Naic recounted the history of the clinic and the organizing efforts that paved the way to the full-blown community-based sexual and reproductive health program.