Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso signed on Monday (May 17) an agreement with the Santa Lucia International Eye Bank of Manila (SLIEB) to help promote corneas and eyes donations in the country as well as a donor card that allows for the harvest of his eyes and corneas in the event of his death.
Domagoso said his eyes would be donated to anyone in need to be able to see again and urged the public to be an eye donor as well.
The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that he signed with SLIEB signifies the City of Manila’s commitment to support the Eye Bank’s efforts to promote and institutionalize cornea and eye donation in the country.
“Sana sumunod na kayo. Wala namang mawawala sa inyo kapag naging eye donor kayo. Ibig sabihin lang ay kung namatay kayo, may makikinabang pa rin sa mga mata ninyo (I hope you’ll do the same. You have nothing to lose when you become an eye donor. It simply means that if you die, someone will still benefit from your eyes),” he said.
The Eye Bank is owned and operated by the Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines (EBFP), a non-stock, non profit, non-government humanitarian organization that has been serving patients since 1995. It is the only state-of the-art eye banking facility in the country that evaluates and distributes donated eye tissue or corneas for use in transplantation, research, and education.
EBFP president and CEO Dr. Ma. Dominga ‘Minguita’ Padilla thanked Domagoso for signing up as an eye donor and for supporting the Eye Bank.
“Napaka-importanteng maging cornea donor kasi napakaraming tao sa Pilipinas at sa buong mundo na hindi makakakita kung hindi dahil sa transplant (It’s very important to become a cornea donor because there are people who can’t see if not for the transplant),” Dr. Padilla said.
Padilla hopes that more people will become an eye donor. “Huwag kayong matakot maging eye donor (Don’t be afraid to become an eye donor),” she said.
She also said that the eyes and corneas would be very useful to those in need of transplants.
“Maraming tao na para sa kanila himala na ang makakita uli (There are people waiting for a miracle to be able to see again). Mayor Isko signed as an eye donor, sana marami pang gumaya sa kanya (I hope more people will follow his example),” she added.
Domagoso assured the Eye Bank that the city’s six district hospitals – the Gat Andres Bonifacio Medical Center, Justice Jose Abad Santos Memorial Medical Hospital, Ospital ng Maynila, Ospital ng Sampaloc, Ospital ng Tondo, and Sta. Ana Hospital — are all committed to help the Eye Bank achieve its mission to institutionalize cornea and eye donation in the Philippines.
The Eye Bank is located at the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) compound in Manila.