August 16, 2021
Tzu Chi, FFCCCII end “Operation Bakuna” with Closing Ceremony
By Joy Rojas
After months of planning and preparation, organizers behind “Operation Bakuna,” the vaccination program of Tzu Chi Foundation and the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII) with MedGrocer, Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA), the Department of Health, and other government agencies, held an appreciation and closing ceremony outside the Jing Si Hall Auditorium of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Campus (BTCC) in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
The program, which began on July 5 and ended on August 14, saw doctors administer 10,172 Sinovac vaccine doses in four weeks. Volunteers totaled 1,253.
Tzu Chi Philippines CEO Henry Yuñez extended his congratulations to the group for accomplishing the mammoth task. “This is the first time ever for us to do something like this, we had no experience. But all of us tried our best,” he says of putting together and running the month-long, large-scale event. “The challenges are quite hard, but we did a terrific job.”
“It’s a team effort. Bayanihan,” acknowledges Dr. Cecilio Pedro, vice president of FFCCCII and president and CEO of Lamoiyan Corporation, maker of locally manufactured toothpastes Hapee, Kutitap, and Gumtect. “Because of everybody’s help, ‘Operation Bakuna’ is a success.”
FFCCCII was responsible for importing 500,000 doses of Sinovac vaccines from China for its various vaccination programs. “This vaccine is very important because it is our hope to eradicate the virus,” he adds, “so we can hopefully go back to our business and revive our economy and make a difference for the glory of God.”
MedGrocer’s Dr. Ruben C. Valeza thanked the medical staff “for working tirelessly and accommodating all the concerns of the vaccinees. Thank you Tzu Chi and FFCCCII for supporting us. We are very grateful for your hospitality and to the volunteers for all your help.”
Coin banks and literature on vegetarianism and Jing Si aphorisms were given to the volunteers, while Dr. Pedro presented the Tzu Chi Philippines CEO with a box of Gumtect toothpaste from Lamoiyan Corporation as a token of appreciation.