Baguio to fete out­stand­ing ci­ti­zens on Sept. 1

Sun.Star Baguio - - TOPSTORIES -

TWO PHYSI­CIANS and a re­tired po­lice gen­eral will re­ceive the out­stand­ing ci­ti­zen of Baguio award for com­mu­nity and pub­lic ser­vice on Fri­day morn­ing, Sept. 1 at the Baguio Con­ven­tion Cen­ter.

The three were cho­sen after strin­gent screen­ing and in­ter­view by the So­ci­ety of Out­stand­ing Ci­ti­zen of Baguio (SOCOB) fi­nal judg­ing com­mit­tee headed by Mayor Mauricio Do­mo­gan. Other com­mit­tee mem­bers are Engr. Su­san An­gaga, busi­ness­man Richard Stone Pooten, Archt. Joseph Ala­banza, Ed­u­ca­tor Dr. Am­paro Ri­mas, and Hote­lier Peter Ng.

The awardees have un­der­gone two-fold scru­tiny from the nom­i­nat­ing and screen­ing com­mit­tees, with a five­hour fi­nal judg­ing last Mon­day whit­tling the num­ber to only three, mayor clar­i­fied.

They were cho­sen as to ex­cel­lence in their re­spec­tive fields of ex­per­tise, with ex­tra­or­di­nary and ded­i­cated ser­vice to the com­mu­nity or a wider ex­panse be­yond their area of re­spon­si­bil­ity, the mayor said.

Physi­cian Joanne Ju­lar­bal Balderas, was cho­sen for her in­volve­ment in the com­mu­nity; be­ing an oph­thal­mol­o­gist, pro­fes­sor, ac­tive so­cial civic or­ga­ni­za­tion mem­ber and leader, and an en­vi­ron­men­tal­ist.

Balderas is Baguioborn and schooled in the city, only leav­ing home to study medicine, spe­cial­ize in oph­thal­mol­ogy and grad­u­ate from the Pa­man­tasan ng Lung­sod ng Maynila (PLM) in 1989. Aside from be­ing a pro­fes­sor in one of the lo­cal med­i­cal schools, she runs an eye clinic and is a vis­it­ing consultant at the Saint Louis Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal of the Sa­cred Heart.

A mas­teral de­gree grad­u­ate in Hos­pi­tal Ad­min­is­tra­tion at the Univer­sity of the Philip­pines Open Univer­sity (UPOU) in 2004, she is a Ca­reer Ser­vice Ex­ec­u­tive El­i­gi­ble (CSEE), and a

re­cip­i­ent of var­i­ous awards from dif­fer­ent en­ti­ties for med­i­cal and phil­an­thropic en­deav­ors.

A Lion’s Club mem­ber and leader, she leads col­leagues in so­cial and med­i­cal mis­sions with con­cern on sight restora­tion, spe­cially to the marginal­ized sec­tor of Baguio, the Cordillera re­gion and be­yond, up to as far as Bataan, Ca­gayan and Batanes.

Now, as a mem­ber of the Board of Di­rec­tors of the Baguio Water Dis­trict, she es­pouses water con­ser­va­tion and mas­sive re-green­ing through tree-plant­ing.

Physi­cian Dion­i­sio Ramos Clar­i­dad, Jr. is de­scribed by col­leagues, pa­tients and sub­or­di­nate-em­ploy­ees as a kind and ap­proach­able doc­tor and hos­pi­tal ad­min­is­tra­tor, his clien­tele those in the cor­po­rate ser­vices and the fam­i­ly­owned Baguio Med­i­cal Cen­ter (BMC).

His ser­vices as a sur­geon how­ever is not limited to san­i­tized hos­pi­tal rooms, but also in makeshift clin­ics in far-flung ar­eas of Benguet, Mt. Prov­ince and Ilo­cos Sur. He never re­fuses in­vi­ta­tions to med­i­cal mis­sion, thus is dubbed as “Mr. Med­i­cal Mis­sion.”

Dur­ing such ac­tiv­i­ties, Clar­i­dad,Jr. im­parts sur­gi­cal pre­ci­sion skills to med­i­cal stu­dents un­der his care and shares life skills through ca­reer guid­ance lec­tures to grad­u­at­ing high school stu­dents. He also launched the Ro­tary Club-as­sisted “End Po­lio” pro­gram, and is an ac­tive ad­vo­cate of men­tal health pro­grams in Baguio and Benguet.

Mar­ried to physi­cian Louella Rillera-Clar­i­dad, chil­dren Dion­i­sio III and Khris­tine are also both doc­tors.

Re­tired from the Philip­pine Na­tional Po­lice after 38 years of ser­vice, Ben­jamin Banez Ma­ga­long is lured to the pri­vate cor­po­rate world due to his ster­ling record of straight­for­ward­ness and in­cor­rupt­ibil­ity. Aca­demic ex­cel­lence, be­ing a Philip­pine Mil­i­tary Academy cum laude and lead­er­ship skills also are ev­i­dent in his ca­reer, honed by train­ings here and abroad, and ev­i­denced by nu­mer­ous com­men­da­tions, medals and awards.

Dur­ing Ma­ga­long’s stint in the Cordilleras, he ef­fected the Con­flict Me­di­a­tion and Dif­fu­sion (CMD) which re­sulted to a more peace­ful elec­tion pe­riod in Abra and Kalinga which usu­ally had shares of po­lit­i­cal killings.

The use of com­puter ap­pli­ca­tions to pin­point crimes in spe­cific times and ar­eas, in Baguio City were also ini­ti­ated dur­ing his time; as with pro­vi­sions of in­stru­ments for po­lice of­fi­cers who through mu­sic could en­dear them to the greater pop­u­lace.

Ap­pointed as head of the Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion De­tec­tion Group (CIDG), he ini­ti­ated the fil­ing of charges against high rank­ing PNP of­fi­cers, due to miss­ing as­sault ri­fles; and later in­ves­ti­gated and bravely stood for his find­ings as to the death of 44 Spe­cial Ac­tion Force sol­diers in Ma­mas­apano, Min­danao.

Ma­ga­long also stood his ground in the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) il­le­gal drug in­ves­ti­ga­tion dur­ing the term of Leila de Lima as Depart­ment of Jus­tice Sec­re­tary; and also with the killing of Al­buera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa.

How­ever, with all the awards and hon­ors con­ferred on him here and abroad, the great­est bless­ings be­stowed on his is his fam­ily; wife Ar­lene and chil­dren; Kristina Louise, Katrina An­drea and Kevin Ben­jamin.

The three awardees join out­stand­ing Baguio ci­ti­zens who have up­held the legacy of show­cas­ing the city’s best.

The Sept. 1 char­ter day cel­e­bra­tion with the theme, Baguio @108: Land of Cham­pi­ons would be launched on Au­gust 29 dur­ing the flag rais­ing cer­e­monies at city hall. Julie Fianza/Baguio City PIO

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