Medicard spreads holiday cheer to Metro’s road heroes

It was the end of what may have been another grueling eight-hour shift.

At 6 a.m. one Saturday morning, some 100 traffic enforcers of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) were ready to call it a day, preparing for a general formation to signal the end of their shift. As they assembled at the MMDA headquarters in Guadalupe, Makati City, these weary traffic personnel were, most likely, already looking forward to getting a much-needed sleep after what could have been a long, traffic-ridden, bonus payday Friday night.

A pleasant surprise, however, awaits these unsung road heroes.

Medicard Philippines Inc., in partnership with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, hosted a breakfast surprise for some 100 traffic personnel at the MMDA headquarters as a way of giving back. An informative talk by Dr. Christian Kiel Martin, gifts, games, prizes and a fun dance showdown with Inquirer’s beloved mascot Guyito not only gave the enforcers that extra energy boost for the next hour, but also a well-deserved pat on the back for all their hard work.

Medicard Super Surprise at the MMDA head office in Makati City. INQUIRER PHOTO / LEO M. SABANGAN II.

“It’s our way of giving back,” said Medicard Philippines president Dr. Nicanor S. Montoya. “If you think about it, our traffic enforcers are among the hardest at work particularly during this time of the year, and so we deemed it best to show our appreciation for them. We hope to send good vibes across everyone with our simple surprise for them.”

Avoiding hazards at work

Medicard and Inquirer started the morning right with a short exercise led by Medicard marketing services manager Kate Cruz-Joaquin, which was followed by a talk by Dr. Martin, who discussed the possible

effects of work on their health and wellness, and how they can better manage it. Dr. Martin likewise reminded the MMDA personnel to observe certain safety precautions, which include wearing a mask while on duty to protect themselves from air pollution and drinking lots of fluids to avoid dehydration, to avoid hazards at work.

And what an attentive crowd it was, as they threw questions at Dr. Martin, who gamely answered the health concerns they raised such as numbness, back pains, and other similar ailments, for Dr. Martin who gamely answered them. It was one healthy discussion indeed as the enforcers asked about numbness, back pains and the like, which were among their common concerns.

Exciting games, prizes

You would think there won’t be energy left for these traffic enforcers who had to pull off an eight-hour night shift during one of the busiest times of the year. But the excitement and frenzy were just palpable, as they all joined in on the fun, besting each other in classic games like “Bring Me” and a Q&A about traffic and road signs to win prizes for them to take home to their families.

Guyito rocked the MMDA Auditorium with his signature moves, after which the Inquirer mascot was joined by a traffic enforcer who did a fun showdown—much to the delight of everyone in the room. A highlight of the breakfast surprise was the distribution of first aid kits, which included band-aids, alcohol, burn dressing, bandage, alcohol pads, scissors, flashlight and a whistle too.

Of course, their morning won’t be complete without a simple but yummy breakfast for the MMDA traffic personnel to enjoy before they rest and prepare for another shift ahead.

CSR culture

The breakfast surprise for the MMDA enforcers was just one of the many activities that Medicard Philippines has rolled out this year, as this health maintenance organization (HMO) has always been mindful of making a difference in the lives of every Filipino.

“Such activities are part of the Medicard CSR culture. At the end of the day, what we, at Medicard, want to do is espouse the idea of health and wellness on everyone. We hope to make them realize the need and importance of consulting doctors, whether in your barangay clinics or hospitals, whenever you need it,” Dr. Montoya explained.

In a bid to help make healthcare become more accessible for many Filipinos, Medicard has been aggressively putting up clinics and coming up with affordable products or packages for the broader market. Medicard clinics are open to everyone, even non-members, offering affordable clinic services.

According to Dr. Montoya, they will continue rolling out more CSR activities for the benefit of the public next year. These activities are geared towards impressing upon Filipinos the importance of regular consultations with doctors and having an HMO card.

“Many may not be aware of the importance of being healthy and how to afford being healthy. Having an HMO card is one of the ways—as this will give you access to quality, affordable healthcare. With our activities at Medicard, we hope to show them how it is done,” Dr. Montoya explained.

“HMO is like a cooperative. While you need money everyday, there are times when you will need a bigger budget. And when that day comes, a cooperative can help in that it can provide you access to funding. An HMO works similarly—you may not be sick everyday but when the time comes that you get sick, that you would need to consult a doctor or that you would have to be hospitalized, you can depend on Medicard to shoulder part, if not all, of your medical costs,” he said.

Dr. Montoya added: “The fund you can use may not be that big, but it’s not too small either. At the end of the day, having an HMO card like Medicard will give you that much-needed peace of mind.”

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