3 Quezon City doctors among this year’s Manuel L. Quezon Gawad Parangal awardees

Published November 3, 2020, 4:13 PM

by Joseph Pedrajas

Three Quezon City doctors who led the frontline on fight against the coronavirus disease are among the five individuals to receive the Manuel L. Quezon Gawad Parangal awards given by the local government.


Physicians Esperanza Anita Arias, Susan Jane Celo, and Hilario John Mangoba were recognized for their “active involvement in helping the city government carry out the assistance of any form to the community during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic” in the 18th Gawad Parangal Award ceremony during the city’s 81st founding anniversary.

According to the local government, Arias of the Quezon City Health Department “was regarded for her active service as one of the city’s incident commanders.”

“She also formulated the guidelines on testing, barangay contact tracing, among others, and led the direct coordination with government and non-government organizations for additional resources for the city.”

Meanwhile, Celo and Mangoba, who earlier this year succumbed to COVID-19, were given a posthumous award for spearheading “the city’s efforts in setting up community-based testing sites, coordination with various stakeholders, and active monitoring and follow-up of patients” and for going “beyond [the] scope of work to save the lives of others,” respectively.

Celo is a medical officer at the Quezon City Health Department while Mangoba “is a dedicated pediatrician serving the poorest of the poor patients to at least five hospitals in Quezon City.” 

Two more individuals were also given recognition: Jay Angelo Pineda, the chieftain of a technology start-up Whiz Philippines Innovations who “initiated an online challenge called #SalamatFrontliners to give back to the country’s frontliners” and Lamberto Nolasco, the president of Kingspoint Homeowners Association Inc. who was “recognized for his efforts to transform vacant lots in their subdivision to encourage the poor and the jobless to plant their own vegetables.”

“Nolasco also initiated the distribution of food packs to nearby subdivisions, disinfection of churches, roads, and open spaces, and provision of assistance to tricycle drivers, and senior citizens,” the local government said.

Miss Universe Philippines second runner-up Michele Theresa Imperial Gumabao was also given a special award for starting the Your200Pesos organization under the Hunger No More Foundation as a direct response to the pandemic, it added.

Five organizations were also among the roster of awardees including Bantay Bayan Foundation Inc. Culiat Chapter, Triskelion Riders of Quezon City, The Kingspoint Homeowners Association, Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Quezon City (IBP-QC) Chapter, and Metro Manila Persons with Disability Vendors Association, Inc.

“Bantay Bayan Foundation Inc. Culiat Chapter started conducting roving operations and neighborhood-watch activities in March. They assisted their barangay in implementing curfew hours, distribution of financial assistance from the national and local governments, and the distribution of food packs during the lockdown period,” the local government said.

“Triskelion Riders of Quezon City distributed grocery items, initiated a blood-letting program, and extended assistance to jeepney drivers,” it added.

“The Kingspoint Homeowners Association was also recognized for assisting senior citizens in the 25 neighborhoods of their community in order to avail the city government’s financial assistance. They also extended food packs to 150 poor families.”

For the IBP-QC, the LGU said: “Due to the limitations caused by the pandemic, the Integrated Bar of the Philippines – Quezon City Chapter put up a legal aid clinic for legal advice and legal representation in courts to cater to indigent litigants of Quezon City. They also established a hotline for anti-discrimination for frontliners in partnership with the Philippine National Police. IBP-QC also donated various items such as thermo-scanners, disinfectants, facemasks, gloves, vitamins, among others to hospitals and institutions.”

The local government added: “The Metro Manila Persons with Disability Vendors Association, Inc. which spearheaded the ‘Relentless for Persons with Disability Relief Project’ which helped extend relief goods to 500 persons with disabilities in 10 barangays in Quezon City.”

According to Mayor Joy Belmonte, the local government shares its success in COVID-19 response “to those who have been helping us in providing support and assistance to our residents. These awardees have been exemplary as they stood out among their peers to become heroes of their communities.”

“What matters to the heroes we are honoring today is that every life is worth saving. Ang iba sa kanila, patuloy na itinataya ang buhay araw-araw. Mas nanaig sa kanila ang kagustuhang makatulong sa kanilang komunidad (Some of them risk their lives to help the community),” Belmonte said.