Sagip Bayan – Student Group (SBSG) was promoted to Local Member Organization (LMO) status of the Asian Medical Students’ Association Philippines (AMSA-Phil) last Saturday, December 18, 2016. AMSA-Phil is a non-stock, non-government, self-sustaining association of different organizations from various medical schools all over the Philippines founded in 1985 in Manila, Philippines.

With the initiative of Intern Patricia Pintac, Sagip Bayan – Student Group applied to become a member of AMSA Philippines last March 2014. The student group was given the candidate member organization (CMO) status. As a CMO, SBSG sent representatives to conferences such as the Pre-National Medical Students Conference (Pre-NMSC) in San Mateo, Rizal and National Medical Students Conference (NMSC) in Baguio City last 2015. SBSG has also produced and disseminated infographics for AMSA-Phil, particularly for the National Kidney Month and National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Recently, one of the alumni of SBSG, Clerk Michael B. Fong, was accepted in the professional student exchange program; he is set to enroll in a 4-week internship program in Switzerland next year.

On December 18, R-jay F. Agbon (Chairman of SBSG), Michelle Pia Anne B. Austria (Vice Chairman for AMSA), Vince Ivan M. Camangeg (SCORE Head), and Mann Cyron E.J. Sarmiento (SCOPH Head) presented the Organization’s mission-vision, objectives, activities, and goals to the executive board (EB) of AMSA-Phil. After the presentation, the EB had a deliberation. Impressed with SBSG’s activities, the EB decided to promote SBSG from the CMO status to the LMO status.

The promotion of SBSG means that the Organization now has voting rights in decision-making for the activities of AMSA-Phil. Members of SBSG may now also run for the executive board positions of AMSA-Phil. Being an LMO comes with several other perks but this also means more responsibilities for the student group. SBSG is looking forward to sending representatives to Outside The Box (OTB) in UST Manila (February 2017), NMSC in Saint Louis University, Baguio City (July 2017), and the Asian Medical Students Conference (AMSC) in Seoul, Korea (July 2017). Moreover, SBSG is hopeful to have more SLCM students accepted in the professional student exchange program next school year.

SBSG has different standing committees for AMSA-Phil, namely Standing Committee on Professional Exchange (SCOPE) headed by Adolfo L. Manalaysay III, Standing Committee on Research Exchange (SCORE) headed by Vince Ivan M. Camangeg, Standing Committee on Medical Education (SCOME) headed by Kristella M. Draheim, Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH) headed by Mann Cyron E.J. Sarmiento, Standing Committee on Reproductive Health Including HIV/AIDS (SCORA) headed by Maria Patricia B. Garcia, and Standing Committee on Human Rights and Peace (SCORP) headed by Melchin Edreen O. Tapan. The different standing committees are set to hold various activities next semester aimed to engage the students of SLCM-WHQM. The scheduled activities of the standing committees are as follows:

  1. SCORA (January 16-20, 2017)
    • Project RED: AIDS Through the Eyes of the Millennial. This project is in partnership with Iatros, the official school publication of SLCM-WHQM. SBSG will have a corner of artworks promoting AIDS awareness in the SCENE Art Exhibit of Iatros. Posters will also be displayed in the elevators and bulletin boards containing data on HIV and AIDS in the Philippines.
  2. SCOPH (January 30 – February 3, 2017)
    • Antimicrobial Resistance Awareness Program. A video showing the causes, effects, and prevention of antimicrobial resistance will be released in English and Tagalog versions. This project aims to strengthen the Department of Health’s effort on raising the awareness of the general public about antimicrobial resistance.
  3. SCOME (February 16, 2017)
    • BREAKING THE SILENCE: A Sign Language Project. This is in partnership with LINK Center for the Deaf and aims to teach the students of SLCM sign language to better interact with deaf patients.
  4. SCORP (February 21-24, 2017)
    • 1081: An Exhibit on the Stories of Human Rights Violations Under Martial Law. This project is strategically scheduled right before the anniversary of the EDSA Revolution. Infographics will be posted inside the elevators and a freedom wall will be placed outside the library where the students can right their opinions on the human rights violations and health care conditions during the Martial Law period.
  5. SCORE (April 1, 2017)
    • ForenSEEKS: When Science is Justice. This is a workshop aimed to entice renewed interest on research by exemplifying medical research as the bedrock of forensics and many other fields in medicine.

Year 2017 is definitely an exciting year for Sagip Bayan – Student Group and AMSA Philippines. SBSG is committed to engage its members with its future activities guided by the Organization’s pillars: social responsibility, cultural competence, and professionalism.