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Capitol to join int’l conference on traditional medicine
By: Vanessa Almeda | Published Thursday, August 13, 2020
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia inspects the P44 million ambulance donated by the People’s Republic of China on Monday, August 10 together with Chinese Consul General Jia Li. This is the latest donation by the PRC to the Province since its previous donations of face masks, protective personal equipment, rice and others. Li said they will continue to extend help to the Philippines in its fight against the novel coronavirus disease including the provision of a vaccine. (Junjie Mendoza)

In line with Cebu Provincial Government's thrust as a "health and wellness destination," the Province will be participating in an online international conference on traditional medicine on September this year.

The Province was invited by the Chinese government through Chinese Consul General Jia Li who came to visit Governor Gwendolyn Garcia on Monday, August 10, for the turnover of an ambulance donated by the People's Republic of China.

According to Garcia, she is particularly interested in the first part of the conference which talks about how to combat the 2019 Coronavirus Disease (Covid-19).

"It is so significant nga they are actually talking about traditional, dili ang western big pharma kind.. ila traditional Chinese medicine. So, I will be very interested here kay we'd like to listen," Garcia said.

The event is hosted by the Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (FUTCM) and will be participated in by various experts in the field of traditional medicine in China.

"Imagine duna gyud university on traditional Chinese medicine, duna silay presentation by a traditional medicine, Chinese expert, acupuncture specialist, and duna’y presentation by an expert from the Philippines," she said. 

Garcia said she has designated Provincial Health Officer Dr. Christina Giango in organizing a pre-conference meeting with doctors who are also appreciative of traditional medicine including Dr. Dale Pasco and Dr. Jose Ray Mondejar. 

As of Tuesday, August 11, Giango said the FUTCM has already contacted the IPHO for the pre-conference meeting.

Jia assured the governor that China will continue to support the Philippines in its fight against Covid-19.

"China is working with the Philippines and cooperate with you to combat Covid-19 because Chinese and the Philippines are one family. We will do our best to help the Philippines and we want to combat this disease as fast as we can," Jia said in a separate interview.

Aside from the ambulance, China has donated personal protective equipment, masks, and other medical supplies to the province since the start of the pandemic. 

Jia said China is also on the next stage of its cooperation with the country particularly in the area of health care through the provision of a vaccine against Covid-19.

He added that China will provide public support to the Philippines, with a team of medical experts on Chinese medicine sent to Manila already. They also welcomed the Province’s plan to participate in the conference. 

"As far as helping people's lives we will do our best and provide what we have to help the Philippines. We're willing to share our experiences," he said.

He further said that China's relations with Cebu will continue to be strengthened despite the Covid-19 pandemic while emphasizing its long-standing sisterhood relationships with the five provinces in China like Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and Fujian, to name a few.

In a related development, Garcia disclosed that the Capitol is already preparing for the propagation of nurseries in all barangays in the Province and the institutionalization of the SugBusog program from barangays down to sitios or puroks for the planting of medicinal plants aside from calamansi, lemon, turmeric, ginger, kulo or bread fruit.

"I'm really interested in traditional medicine nga organic man gud, chemical-free and so doable even in mountain and island barangays," she said.

Further, she said the province's participation in the virtual conference is also linked to the Capitol's thrust of putting up a council for traditional and alternative medicine. 

Garcia earlier announced that Capitol will soon create a Provincial Traditional Health Care System (PTHCS) based on Republic Act 8432 or the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act (Tama) which promotes the production of alternative medicine from certain herbs that are proven to be safe, effective and affordable. 

The Act, authored by the late Health Secretary Juan Flavier, created the Philippine Institute in Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) which leads the promotion of traditional and alternative health care.

PITAHC, she said, will help train the 16,000 barangay health workers in the province.

"So our barangay health workers will incorporate it in their daily health visits and health teachings," Garcia said. (Vanessa L. Almeda)