March 30, 2023
Tzu Chi holds eye clinic in Zamboanga City Jail Female Dormitory
By Ben Baquilod
Tzu Chi Zamboanga, in partnership with the Regional Gender and Development Committee of the Regional Development Council (Region IX) held a free eye consultation on March 22 at the Zamboanga City Jail Female Dormitory.
The community outreach is part of the Angel of Sight Program of Tzu Chi Foundation – Zamboanga Liaison Office.
Dr. Romy Bagongon and Dr. Jarred Paber led the eye assessment of 146 patients—124 of which were subsequently provided with reading glasses, while 16 will be given further examinations and medical assistance.
“To be given free medical attention is a very big opportunity for our PDLs (persons deprived of liberty) in this facility,” said Senior Jail Inspector Sitti Abdulahab. “60% of our PDLs are in their 40s and 50s, so they really need eyewear to see clearly.”
The reading glasses will also be especially helpful for those enrolled in the facility’s Alternative Learning System Program, according to Abdulahab.
“I thank Master Cheng Yen for the help you’ve given us. This will allow me to see better and do tasks effectively, such as sewing,” said one beneficiary.
Raymond Domingo, Chair of the Regional Gender and Development Committee of the Regional Development Council (Region IX) was equally thankful to Tzu Chi for partnering with them in the initiative for persons deprived of liberty. “When we ask for Tzu Chi Foundation’s help and assistance, there was never a second thought of assisting us,” Domingo said.
“Our mantra is that no women will be left unempowered. We want to reach out to them and let them feel that they are still part of society,” he added.