December 6, 2023

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet –   In addressing the gap between the collected and target blood units, the Benguet chapter of the Philippine Red Cross conducted a stakeholders’ forum for 100 percent voluntary blood donation.

The global framework for action to achieve 100 percent voluntary blood donation has been developed jointly by the World Health Organization and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. 

The global vision is designed to provide guidance and support to establish effective voluntary blood donor programs, phase out family/replacement blood donation, and eliminate paid donation.

This is based on the recognition that voluntary non-remunerated blood donors are the foundation of a safe, sustainable blood supply.

Among those who attended the forum held last Oct. 26 at Inglay Restaurant were La Trinidad Mayor Romeo K. Salda and Bakun Mayor Bill Y. Raymundo, Kibungan Municipal Health Officer Hydre Nga-ew, Kapangan Councilor Jennely Eves, representatives from Bokod, Department of Public Works and Highways, Benguet State University, Benguet National High School, Cordillera Career Development College, Kings College of the Philippines-Benguet, and San Jose Parish Church. 

Chapter board of director Susan Umayat facilitated the discussion while BOD vice chair Susan Atayok appealed for the full support of the stakeholders to ensure sufficient blood supply.

Chapter Administrator Oscar Paris reported on the 86 percent accomplishment as of September based on one percent target blood units for 2023.

One of the highlights of the forum dwelled on the recovery cost in the processing of blood into various components. Every unit of whole blood is processed into three components, namely packed red blood cell, fresh frozen plasma, and platelet concentrate.

Paris said the Red Cross blood service fee is based on Department of Health Administrative Order 0045-2015 following Section 8 of the National Blood Services Act of 1994.

The order states that the amount of P1,800, P1,500, and P1,000 for other components, respectively, shall be the maximum service fees by blood service facilities such as the PRC. The fees are used for the cost of reagents used for blood testing specifically for hepatitis B and C viruses, HIV, malaria parasite, and treponema pallidum hermaglutination test.

Salda appealed to the PRC to help those who are requesting for blood by giving at least a 50 percent discount for the blood processing fee, particularly to patients confined in public hospitals in Baguio City and Benguet.

Paris said the matter is a challenge for chapter BOD to work on the possibility of the proposal. To date, through the leadership of Benguet Gov. Melchor Diclas, the chapter extends free blood service processing fees for the indigent population who acquired a certificate of indigency from the Social Work Service Office of Benguet General Hospital where the patient is confined. – PRC-Benguet