Dr. Minguita Padilla
Dr. Minguita Padilla

Bravo Filipino | Homer Nievera, Editor-At-Large | Dr. Minguita Padilla Thanks Supporters, Bares Future Plans | After a grueling 7-month schedule brought about by her senatorial run for 2022, Dr. Minguita Padilla, a world-renowned ophthalmologist and, battle-scarred health crusader of many years, has kicked-off her “gratitude trip” this weekend with a flight to Davao.

Dr. Padilla met her supporters in Davao, led by Atty. Ed Batacan, plus the leaders and members of his BBM-Sara group who supported her. She was joined by her Chief of Staff, Atty. Valerie Hollero, who has been her friend for many years and lent her COS services for free.

As part of a series of gratitude trips, Dr. Padilla is scheduled to go to Cebu and Negros Province where she got most of her votes. She will be joined by Rey Martinez, PhD., who is the chairman of the Dra. Minguita Padilla for Senator Movement, and Atty. Clint Aranas who is a staunch supporter and Dr. Padilla’s leader in Negros.

Dr. Padilla is grateful for her supporters who have been eager to see her back in Visayas and Mindanao, after the elections. She is organizing a series of medical caravans in the next few months, especially in areas that are still recovering from Typhoon Odette. She said that her campaign promise to continue serving in the health sector still holds true even if she did not make it to the Senate.

Dr. Padilla said that she is blessed to have been able to go all over the country to see for herself where Filipinos need the most help in the form of health services.

What’s Next for Dr. Padilla?

Dr. Minguita Padilla is back in her clinic at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Global City. She said that her first week was a full-packed one with a number of patients eager to see her again after her leave of absence, plus administrative work. Various professional groups have already started contacting her for lectures, etc. So despite being exhausted from the grueling campaign, she has not taken a vacation.

Dr. Minguita Padilla
Dr. Minguita Padilla in one of her medical missions recently

There is some work that she will no longer be doing though, such as being the President of the Eye Bank. She will instead be the ambassador at large of the Eye Bank. It is in this way that she believes she can best help increase public knowledge about, and support for cornea donation, in order to improve the dismal number of corneal tissue needed to restore sight to those who need transplants. This is also a role that will fit well with her plan to travel around the country and help in whatever way she can.

“During the campaign, I met a lot of people and became more aware of what’s happening on-ground. It was an eye-opener for me. I was also able to open the hearts and minds of many groups to the reforms we need to undertake, especially in the health sector. Cebu and Negros islands were two places where I had a chance to present my platform and vision to the media, mayors, barangay captains, BHWs, and many other groups. They have become very special to me. We had a mutually enriching experience. Given my many years of being a health advocate and crusader I thought I saw it all. But 7 months on the road have allowed me to be more in touch with our country’s realities. There’s a ton of work ahead; and unity, especially in the health sector, is much needed today,” said Padilla.

“I am always available to help the Marcos administration in whatever capacity should they ask me to help given my deep knowledge of the health sector, its weaknesses, strengths, and most especially about Philhealth, which is vital for Universal Health Care,” added Padilla.

Asked if she will be making another Senate run in 2025, this is what she had to say: “That’s still 3 years out. What I intend to do now is to continue my health crusading work, but God-willing, on a bigger scale, given the national stage and friends and supporters I gained because of the senatorial campaign.”

Like any good doctor who pledged to heal the sick, Dr. Padilla is going beyond the Hippocratic Oath by continuing to serve beyond her duties as a doctor. With more people like her serving the country — without fear, favor, or color — the Philippines will be in excellent hands indeed.