Camp Olivas, San Fernando City, Pampanga – The Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) and Operation Smile Philippines (OSP) inked a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) recently for the former to locate children with cleft palate and cleft lip and refer them to the latter for free medical evaluation and treatment of those deemed fit for reconstructive surgery.
The agreement will cover all seven provinces of Region III namely, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales.
PRO3 Regional Director, P/BGen. Valeriano T. D Leon, and OSP Executive Director, Emiliano Romano, signed the MOA at Camp Olivas’ Makatao Activity Center.
Oral cleft is one of the most common congenital birth defects in the Philippines, which, if left untreated, expose the afflicted to rejection, bullying and a host of medical and dental conditions.
“We are happy to become an instrument of hope for those children and their families,” P/BGen. De Leon said, adding the agreement with OSP expands police assistance to the region from protecting people against lawless elements to helping indigents access health care.
Operation Smile has been providing free surgery and related cleft care to children with cleft lip and cleft palate since 1982, and has treated more than 35,000 cleft patients all over the Philippines.
“Our agreement with PRO3 will allow us to treat more,” Mr. Romano said, emphasizing that this pioneering project with the PNP will be rolled out to other police regional offices nationwide if the desired results is achieved.