TBPeople Philippines Organization Inc. a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization comprised of TB survivors from all parts of the country, was awarded a grant in January 2022 from the StopTB Partnership under the Challenge Facility for Civil Society Round 10. The grant is for TB People Philippines Organizational Goals Inc.: TBPeoplePH Discipleship and inclusion of persons with disabilities.
Launch of TBpeoplePH: Discipleship – The creation of an association of cities in Region 3 San Fernando Pampanga, Region 4a Calamba Laguna and in the National Capital Region, Manila, was led by CEO and President, Mrs. Louie Zepeda-Teng. Louie, an architect by profession, contracted TB meningitis in 2007, TB which is best known to be treated and cured within 6 months, Louie contracted MDR TB by enduring 24 months of medication, she lost her sight during her battle but she is now TB free. The experience and the journey gave her a new perspective on life and a new purpose. Helping people so they don’t suffer like she did.
This is the first grant made by the organization, which is in its 2nd year of legal registration. The project aims to use this grant for much-needed efforts to sustain the TB program in each local government unit. This is to provide capacity building and technical assistance for leadership development in Regions 3, 4a and the National Capital Region. In addition, the Organization is about to complete its research paper which will be used as a toolkit for the barriers and challenges faced by 20% of people with disabilities, who have or may have the communicable disease, tuberculosis .
In July 2022, CEO and President of TBpeoplePH, Ms. Louie Zepeda-Teng paid a courtesy visit to the newly elected Mayor of San Fernando, Pampanga. Mayor, Hon. Vilma Caluag. At the end of the session, she brought her enthusiasm and support for the group’s advocacy. The group discussed their initiative and how community workers can assist in the implementation of medical and social services for beneficiaries through the assistance of government offices and barangays in accordance with the Mandanas-Garcia ruling, the inclusion of disability in the current TB program that our government now has, and the establishment of a municipal association of TB patients, survivors and their families. The group also called for budget support needed for tuberculosis, an infectious disease, and accessible services for residents with disabilities.
On August 11, 2022, the group also contacted the Mayor of Calamba Laguna, Hon. Roseller H. Rizal. Mayor Ross gave and declared his support for the TBpeoplePH Calamba Laguna City Association’s proposals and advocacy plans that the organization is planning for his beloved city and jurisdiction.
Recently on September 1, 2022. TBPeople Philippines Organization Inc launched the City Association Creation TBpeoplePH Discipleship – City of Manila
The group celebrated this momentous event with special guests and partners such as: Manila Barangay Bureau, Manila DSWD and PDAO, Philippine Tuberculosis Society Inc., Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), USAID, J&J Phils, Tropical Disease Foundation (TDF) , Arugaan ng may Kapansanan ng Maynila, Inc., Tinig at Lakas ng mga PWD ng Maynila (TILAK PWD Manila), Barangay Council, SK Federation, Senyas Sanay Translation and Interpreting Services, Philippine Federation of the Deaf, Pinoy Deaf Rainbow, Philippine Blind Union, NOVEL Philippines, Bigkis Ng PWD Association Inc – Bipa and Las Pinas Federation.
After the successful launch of the first creation of city associations in the country in Pampanga, Laguna and Manila, TBPeople Philippines Organization Inc looks forward to other municipalities supporting the same TB awareness movement to make our country PH TB free. Community Agents and Org staff will work hard and expect more collaborations with other LGUs and other potential partners to execute on any advocacy plans they have for their cities and constituents.