GALILEE RESOURCE CENTER FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
It is estimated that around 4% of the Filipinos are physically impaired and are in dire need of physical rehabilitation. But despite the explicit mandate under the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons (RA 7277) for the Department of Health to establish medical rehabilitation centers in government provincial hospitals,only a handful of such facilities exist in the Philippines.
The absence of a physical rehabilitation center for persons with disabilities in the Bicol Region in the early 90’s spurred SIMON to forged an alliance with the Department of Health Regional Office V (DOH ROV) and the then Albay Provincial Hospital (now known as Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital or BRTTH).
Their shared commitment to provide rehabilitation services and assistive devices for persons with disabilities in the regiongave impetus to the birth of the Rehabilitation Center and Orthotic Workshop within the BRTTH premises.
Inaugurated on May 30, 1992, the Rehabilitation Center and Orthotic Workshop became the very first rehabilitation facility of its kind in the Bicol Region. The Center’s operation was jointly managed by SIMON and the then Albay Provincial Hospital.
Its presence in Legazpi City was a welcome development for the Bicolanos and received tremendous support from various groups. The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Phinma Foundation and Enrique Zobel Foundation provided one-time grants for additional equipment, personnel cost and subsidy for the production of assistive devices from 1994 to 1998. And in 1995, the Stitching Liliane Fonds, a non-government organization from the Netherlands, started its sponsorship program for surgery and assistive devices for children with orthopedic impairments.
A shift in the organizational direction of BRTTH in 1999 brought drastic changes in the operations of the Rehabilitation Center and Orthotic Workshop. Personnel from the Rehabilitation Center were absorbed by BRRTH. But despite this, SIMON continued to manage the workshop and provide support to the rehabilitation services.
In 2002, SIMON negotiated with BRTTH for the possible construction of a newand more accessible building for the orthotic workshop and its rehabilitation services. Plans for the upgrading of prosthesis technology to fiberglass (exoskeletal) were also put into motion.
A year later, BRTTH graciously allocated a 600 square meterlot near the Out Patient Department (OPD) for SIMON’s use. By 2004, a new Memorandum of Agreement was signed between DOH ROV, BRTTH and SIMON that paved the way for the establishment of the Galilee Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.
Initial funds for the construction were provided by Christoffel Blindenmission (CBM) and Kindernothilfe (KNH), two of SIMON’s long-time funding partners.The Provincial Government of Albay likewise appropriated fund for the completion of the center.
Finally in 2005, SIMON’s Children’s Early Intervention, Rehabilitation and Orthotic and Prosthetic Workshop transferred to its new home – the Galilee Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.
A rehabilitation facility with affordable and efficient service delivery that is accessible to the communityand contributes towards poverty alleviation and sustainable development.
Strengthen the capacity of the Galilee Center and expand the network of sustainable and economically viable satellite rehabilitation facilities and Community-Based Rehabilitation services in the Bicol Region.