SEA AMBULANCE. The Department of Health has provided sea ambulance to the municipal government of Guiuan, Eastern Samar. The sea ambulance, in particular, will benefit the residents of Homonhon and Suluan, two islands off the town proper of Guiuan.(PHOTO COURTESY)

TACLOBAN CITY – Residents of the island villages in Guiuan town, Eastern Samar express gratitude to the Department of Health for providing them with a sea ambulance which they can rely on during medical emergencies.

Romulo Francillo, chairman of Barangay Cagusuan, representing officials from eight villages in Homonhon Island and the island village of Suluan, conveyed their long-awaited anticipation for this project.

Located along the Pacific Ocean, Suluan and Homonhon islands hold historical significance and are accessible by a two-hour boat ride during fair weather.

“We are immensely grateful for this project bestowed upon us by the government,” Francillo said during the turnover ceremony held at Sulangan Island.

“We recognize the significant assistance this sea ambulance will provide, especially during medical emergencies in our island villages,” he added.

The turnover of the P4.6 million sea ambulance was spearheaded by Department of Health Eastern Visayas Regional Director Exuperia Sabalberino, Guiuan Mayor Annaliza Kwan, 4Ps party-list Representative and Minority Floor Leader Marcelino Libanan, Vice Governor Maricar Sison-Goteesan, and members of the municipal council led by Vice Mayor Veronica Ramirez.

“I hope that the LGU will ensure the proper maintenance of this sea ambulance to benefit more patients, especially those residing in the island villages,” Sabalberino during the turnover ceremony on Thursday (Feb. 15).

“We, at the national government, are committed to assisting LGUs in need, particularly those with urgent requests,” the DOH regional director added.

Equipped with a stretcher, automatic defibrillator, nebulizer, portable suction machine, and other medical equipment, the sea ambulance is prepared to provide essential medical care.

Mayor Kwan expressed her appreciation for the swift response of the DOH to her request for a sea ambulance, which will serve residents living on islands under her town’s jurisdiction.

She assured that the LGU will responsibly manage the sea ambulance and will cover the salaries of the two individuals assigned to operate it.

The sea ambulance will ensure that residents of the two islands receive timely medical care while being transported to mainland health facilities, thus enhancing survivability.

In addition to the sea ambulance, the DOH also blessed the newly-rehabilitated rural health unit in Sulangan Island, catering to the health and medical needs of residents of Suluan and neighboring areas like Calicoan.