Community Services & MEDICAL MISSIONS

Serving the Poor (501c3 U.S. non-profit)

71 Miantonomi Ave., Middletown, RI 02842 U.S.A.
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Annual Report

2019 – Medical Mission and Other Activities:


February 2019 Medical Missions in TawiTawi to Benefit the Badjaos, Samals and Tausugs

Joint Lingkod Timog and Naval Forces in TawiTawi

A. Background

Lingkod Timog was formed and is a non-profit corporation in the state of Rhode Island and is registered as a U.S. IRS 501c3 tax-exempt organization. 

Lingkod Timog was born in 2003 and 2004 when the then U.S. Naval War College student from the Philippines, Retired Marine Lt. General (then Colonel) Juancho Sabban and his wife, Irene Covarrubias Sabban brought out the need to help the poor in the Southern Philippines, starting with the Badjaos in Zamboanga, Basilan and Sulu.  Together with their sponsors, Navy Captain (Retired) Armando (Doy) Heredia, then Executive Director of NaFFAA, the national organizations of Filipino Americans, and Cecilia Heredia, CiM, founding President of Lingkod Timog, they organized the annual missions in 2005-2017. 

Past medical mission sites included Arena Blanco, Maasin, Sangali, and Taluksangay in Zamboanga City; Lamitan in Basilan; Lugus in Sulu; Cabayugan and Simpucan, in Puerto Princesa City; Ransang, Rizal, Taytay, El Nido, Coron, Rio Tuba and Bataraza in Palawan; Marilog (Buda) in Davao City; Lipay-Dingin in Iba, Zambales; Bagong Silangan in Payatas, Quezon City; Kalagans in Tagum City, Mandayas in Compostela Valley and Tribal People in Tawitawi, Simunol and Sitangkai Islands.

This February 2019 mission to TawiTawi is a joint undertaking of Lingkod Timog with the Naval Forces Palawan.  Private and public medical health practitioners supported Lingkod Timog.  Other Philippine military units, the Philippine National Police, and private foundations and civic organizations supported the medical mission.


 B. Dates and location of Medical Missions 2019:

Mission Site Selection:  The 2019 focus was on the indigenous people in the islands of TawiTawi Province.  They receive little to no regular medical care.

Patients served: Badjaos, Samals and Tausugs

Coordinated by: Mrs. Irene Covarrubias Sabban, Lingkod Timog Executive Director


23 and 24 February, Badjaos, Samals and Tausugs in Panglima Sugala and Sitangkai in TawiTawi Province

C. Concept of Service:

Developmental:  Our thrust is to involve the entire community and other concerned agencies.  That way, the recipients will see not just the foreign volunteers but the community and the government helping them.  The volunteers from the government and private sector will also feel part of the project.  We can then gradually disengage and the community can take ownership of and care for the health needs of the indigenous and other disadvantaged people.

Corrective:  Corrective in that we brought medical, dental and minor surgical services to the indigenous patients that we saw.  These patients are seldom in contact with health care practitioners. 

 Preventive:  We are still looking into areas of study or work that will help reduce the incidences of diseases.  Helping educate the children in basic hygiene such tooth brushing, and washing with soap and water have started.

 D. Medical Mission February 2019

The medical missions were organized and led by Lingkod Timog, with the principal support by the Philippine Navy's Naval Forces Southwestern Mindanao (CMO) personnel and its component units 


Patients and their families arrived at the designated treatment sites.  Arrival screening and registration of patients were done.  Medical, surgical, dental, pharmacy, and other services (feeding, haircut, etc.) were held in buildings or in stadiums.  Security elements also saw to movement and crowd control of patients.  The number of doctors, dentists and nurses were limited by the transportation available.


With teams of volunteers from the Philippines military, partner organizations, and private and public health care sectors, the usual ailments of upper respiratory, urinary tract, and skin infections; hypertension; eye problems; and tooth decay were attended to.  Numerous teeth extraction was done, with an average of 1-1/2 extractions per dental patient.  Limited minor surgery and Operation “Tuli” (circumcision of boys) were done by a Philippine military contingent.  Those requiring more or prolonged help or diagnosis were referred to the private and local government health centers.  The mission was limited by availability of medicine. 


E. Patients Served (approx) in Southern Palawan Medical Mission February 2019:

                                       23 Feb           24 Feb      Total
                             Bgy Baguindah    Bgy Parangan
                             Putih, Sitangkai   Panglima Sugala

Medical                662                 870          1,532

Surgical                 35                   45              80

Dental                  130                 150            280


     Total              827                1,065         1,892

F. Volunteers and organizations involved: excluding security & support personnel

 Lingkod Timog organized and led the Medical Mission; raised funds; sent the following volunteers who paid for own transportation, food and lodging:

International Team (volunteers based outside the Philippines):

Volunteers Directors Doy and Cely Heredia and Rev. John O'Brien of Newport, Director Vivian RN and Cleo Erfe of Virginia, P. Emraida Kiram of Wisconsin, among others

Team Philippines - Philippine-based volunteers, including:

Founding members Exec Dir Irene Covarrubias Sabban, RN, Advisor Lt. General (Ret) Juancho Sabban, Ces Sabban-Marfil RN, Marc Marfil RN, and Bing Diones, Davao-based and Manila-based volunteers,


Partners supported, endorsed or helped coordinate the mission; sent medical, surgical and dental teams; gave logistical and security support; and provided other vital community services.

Local government

Town and Barangay officials, Health Officers and Police

Philippines Armed Forces and Police

Naval and Marine Forces in Southwestern Mindanao

Philippine Army, Air Force and National Police components

Private Sector Civic Partners

Tan Lin & Ng Oh Tee Foundation

CTU Foundation

Singleton Cares

 G. Funds, medicine and supplies

     Fund Raising: Lingkod Timog members and supporters through events, donations and services. 

Medicines and Supplies: From Lingkod Timog general funds, unused and unexpired medicine from 2017 medical mission, and from private donors.

Funds Used - Lingkod Timog purchased medicine and supplies not otherwise covered by donations

Other Significant Activity:

Lingkod Timog was present in the May 25, 2019 organizing meeting of the newly created New England Region of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) .  Lingkod Timog participated in the June 2019 Philippine Independence Day events and will assist in the U.S. Census 2020 education and turn-out campaigns.


Consular Outreach
Lingkod Timog co-hosted the Philippine Consulate General New York consular outreach on October 5, 2019 at the Newport Elks Club to benefit US and Filipino individuals who are unable to go to the New York City consulate for service. 


Newport Navy Choristers Christmas Concert
Lingkod Timog sponsored the Newport Navy Choristers Christmas Concert on December 13 at St. Lucy's Church to benefit Lingkod Timog's community services and medical missions. 


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Last modified: 02/12/20