Baguio to fete outstanding citizens on Sept. 1
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