Symbiotic Synergies: Crafting a Future of Empowered Health with SEDPI and ASMPH
Esteemed Deans and respected colleagues,
I am Vince Rapisura, 20 years with Ateneo, and proudly co-founding the Social Enterprise Development Partnerships, Inc. or SEDPI in 2004 with Edwin Salonga. I stand before you to propose strategic partnership with the Ateneo School of Public Health and Medicine. Our group, spanning 8 organizations, envisions empowered Filipinos globally, championing nanoenterprise development through microfinance, social entrepreneurship, and financial literacy.
The SEDPI Group of Social Enterprises
In two decades with Ateneo, I inadvertently became a financial “GURO” to 382K Facebook and 373K YouTube subscribers, navigating the digital landscape with a blend of financial expertise and occasional internet humor. This unexpected online journey reinforces SEDPI’s vision, weaving financial literacy and social entrepreneurship into the fabric of global Filipino empowerment.
SEDPI, while digital in its reach, is deeply rooted in the tangible, on-ground impact across our beloved nation. Operating through 15 branches scattered in the heart of Agusan del Sur, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Zamboanga City, our arms extend to approximately 19,000 nanoenterprise members, each one a testament to our unwavering mission to stand as a stalwart leader in nanoenterprise development.
Our offerings are as diverse as they are impactful. “SEDPI KaNegosyo” extends a financial lifeline to nanoenterprises, while “SEDPI KaTambayayong” embodies our damayan spirit, providing a safety net during times of death, sickness, accidents, and calamities. “SEDPI KaIpon” encourages a culture of savings amongst our members, “SEDPI KaBalai” dreams of building adaptive, livable, affordable, and inclusive housing communities, and “SEDPI KaLusog” symbolizes our commitment to community health.
Each product, meticulously crafted, not only serves a practical purpose but also intertwines with our vision of a future where every Filipino, especially those at the lowest socio-economic status, is empowered, self-sufficient, and secure. Thus, I stand here, inviting Ateneo School of Public Health and Medicine to join hands with SEDPI, intertwining academic excellence with practical impact, and together, let’s craft a future that befits our shared vision and values.
Onground track record
In the particular journey of “SEDPI KaNegosyo,” we’ve channeled 102.7 million pesos into livelihood capital, utilizing a model anchored in joint ventures as opposed to the traditional creditor-debtor relationship found in conventional finance. Our members are not mere transactional partners; they are our allies in a collective pursuit of development and empowerment. Consequently, when life’s unpredictables, such as familial sickness or vulnerability to disasters, impede their capacity to repay, we do not accrue interest earnings. Our compass is directed by a principle that supersedes financial gain: to elevate our members out of poverty. SEDPI staunchly refrains from profiting from their misfortune. Since 2017, we have mobilized 38 million pesos in savings through SEDPI KaIpon, an emblem of our members’ trust and our commitment to safeguarding their financial wellbeing while catalyzing their socio-economic upliftment.
Addressing our members’ vulnerability to disasters, SEDPI launched a venture into socialized housing through “SEDPI KaBalai,” aiming to build adaptive, livable, affordable, and inclusive communities. Our strategy is twofold: acting as a disaster management strategy and simultaneously relocating our members away from hazard and danger zones, thereby safeguarding their physical and financial wellbeing.
In September, we broke ground with an ambitious and hopeful heart. Our blueprint for 2023 involves the construction of 12 housing units, with a visionary expansion to 200 units by 2025. To further this initiative, we’ve strategically land-banked 17 hectares across four municipalities, laying a solid foundation upon which our vision for secure, sustainable living for our members can materialize.
As we strive to fortify the resilience of our members further, we cast our sights on the imminent implementation of “SEDPI KaLusog,” our flagship community-based public health program. Envisioned to be a beacon of wellness and support, KaLusog is committed to providing a spectrum of services, including clinical and laboratory offerings, among others, to envelop our members in a mantle of holistic health care.
The Ateneo de Manila University has been a steadfast ally in our endeavors, notably through the Development Studies Program and the Ateneo Center for Social Entrepreneurship, which have been nurturing our initiatives such as KaNegosyo, KaTambayayong, and KaIpon since 2006. As we forged ahead with SEDPI KaBalai, initial dialogues have been held with Ateneo de Davao and Xavier University, ensuring that the foundations we lay are robust and in harmony with local contexts and needs.
Today, as we explore the horizons of “SEDPI KaLusog,” it is with great anticipation and hope that we extend an invitation to the Ateneo School of Public Health and Medicine to bring your expertise, research, and passion onboard. Together, we can co-create a program that doesn’t merely respond to immediate health needs but preemptively builds a healthier, more resilient community, ensuring that each member not only survives but thrives.
In this partnership, we see a confluence of practicality and academia, of on-ground experience and research-backed strategies. Together, we can amplify our impact, weave a tighter safety net for our members, and sculpt a future where every Filipino stands empowered, healthy, and secure in their socio-economic stature.
Diving deeper into “SEDPI KaLusog,” we pivot towards providing preventive health care through a robust community health program, seamlessly aligning with the Universal Health Care Law. Our timeline is both ambitious and meticulously planned to ensure our members have access to essential, quality healthcare.
In 2023, our focus is twofold: Conducting research to rigorously assess our members’ access to health services and securing PhilHealth accreditation for our clinic. Moving into 2024, we will establish an annual physical exam as a baseline for our members and roll out our community healthcare program, ensuring a holistic, preventive, and supportive healthcare environment for our community.
SEDPI Head Office
In a significant stride towards realizing these objectives, last July, we inaugurated our head office in Rosario, Agusan del Sur, where we have thoughtfully allocated spaces for a clinic and laboratory that the Ateneo School of Public Health and Medicine (ASMPH) can utilize. This allocation, an 110-square meter space, is our tangible commitment and counterpart to this venture, with the flexibility to expand as the program burgeons.
Our choice of Rosario is strategic. As the most central location among our 15 branches and a fourth-class municipality, our presence not only facilitates our operations but also contributes significantly to local socio-economic development. It’s here, in the confluence of need and opportunity, that we envision “SEDPI KaLusog” blossoming, providing essential healthcare services while simultaneously nurturing the local socio-economic landscape.
Envisioning a comprehensive and inclusive approach, “SEDPI KaLusog” is designed to weave a tapestry of healthcare services that are not only accessible but also tailored to the unique needs of our community. The envisioned services under this program encapsulate:
- Mobile annual physical exams, ensuring consistent health monitoring,
- A dedicated laboratory, providing crucial diagnostic services,
- A clinic, acting as a nexus for healthcare in the community,
- Teleconsultations with specialists, bridging geographical barriers,
- Home visits by healthcare professionals, ensuring no member is left behind, and
- A pharmacy, safeguarding access to essential medications.
In order to navigate the manifold aspects of community health, we’ve allocated a budget to on-board 2 General Practitioner doctors and 7 nurses, dedicated to community health maintenance. This team will act as the backbone of “SEDPI KaLusog,” ensuring our members have consistent, reliable access to professional healthcare.
In this light, our collective journey forward, in partnership with the Ateneo School of Public Health and Medicine, is not just a fusion of academia and practicality but a symbiotic relationship, where we leverage each other’s strengths to uplift, empower, and safeguard the health and prosperity of our communities.
Benefits to ASMPH
The proposed collaboration with the Ateneo School of Public Health and Medicine (ASMPH) transcends mere cooperation; it is an investment in synergizing academia and practical, on-ground applications to forge a future that is both sustainable and impactful.
But what does ASMPH stand to gain from this amalgamation of knowledge and fieldwork?
- Students will immerse themselves in real-world experiences, an invaluable complement to theoretical learning, while enhancing interdisciplinary collaboration and networking. Engaging with the community and understanding the nuances and challenges of public health from an on-ground perspective will mold them into professionals with both expertise and empathy.
- Research and Publication Opportunities will be abundant, as our diverse and rich community contexts provide a plethora of scenarios to explore, analyze, and document, contributing to the academic and global health discourse.
- Implementation of Health Innovations will be direct and immediate, as our communities become living laboratories where theories are tested, refined, and implemented, ensuring that innovations are not confined to paper but see the light of day, impacting real lives.
- And most paramount, Cultivating Social Responsibility and Community Engagement among the students and faculty. Engaging with SEDPI ensures that every research, every innovation, and every interaction leaves a tangible, positive imprint on the community, embedding a spirit of social responsibility and active community engagement in the hearts of future healthcare leaders.
Together, with SEDPI’s pragmatic approach and ASMPH’s academic prowess, we weave a future where healthcare is not a privilege but a right, accessible to all, irrespective of socio-economic stature. This partnership symbolizes a future where every Filipino, regardless of their socio-economic status, has access to quality healthcare, a future sculpted by our collective efforts, expertise, and unwavering commitment to social responsibility.
In our endeavors with “SEDPI KaTambayayong,” our damayan program, we’ve witnessed firsthand the inspiring spirit of collective responsibility and willingness among our members to contribute to shared objectives. Since its inception in 2017, we have extended 23.86 million in cash assistance to our members. This is a resonating testament that our members are not seeking handouts, but are earnestly willing to provide a counterpart, actively participating in initiatives that uplift not only themselves but also their fellow community members.
Fast forward to the present year, as of August 2023, our KaTambayayong program has disbursed 4.72 million pesos in financial assistance, delineated as follows:
- 3.3M for death assistance, benefitting 132 members
- 0.8M for hospitalization assistance, aiding 1,069 members
- 0.3M for accident assistance, supporting 177 members
- 0.2M for credit insurance claims, assisting 49 members
- 0.1M for calamity assistance, reaching 221 members
This breakdown is more than mere numbers; it is a tangible reflection of our active and empathetic community, where every peso contributes to alleviating the burdens of life’s unforeseen challenges for our members. It is a clear demonstration that, when structured effectively, community members are more than willing to contribute towards mutual support systems that provide security and assistance in times of need.
The spirit of “damayan,” or communal unity and support, runs deep within our initiatives, and it is this spirit that we hope to encapsulate and further with “SEDPI KaLusog” in collaboration with ASMPH. By harnessing this inherent willingness to contribute and support one another within the community, we stand poised to craft a future where health and wellbeing are not only universally accessible but are also sustained and fortified by the very community they seek to serve.
In conclusion, esteemed colleagues, the path that stretches before us is not merely a collaboration; it is a confluence of visions, resources, and aspirations, all converging towards a future that embodies inclusivity, empowerment, and holistic well-being for our communities. With SEDPI’s on-ground insights and expansive reach, combined with the academic excellence and innovative drive of the Ateneo School of Public Health and Medicine, we stand on the brink of something truly transformative. Our collective journey is not just about healthcare provision; it’s about sculpting a future where every individual, regardless of their socio-economic status, is enveloped in a safety net that encompasses not just physical well-being but also social, economic, and emotional stability. As we embark on this exciting venture, our guide will be the spirit of ‘damayan’, which has perpetually fueled our initiatives, and the unwavering belief that through cohesive action, research, and empathy, we can manifest a future where prosperity, health, and empowerment are not just ideals but lived realities for every Filipino. With unbridled optimism and steadfast resolve, let us step forward together, crafting a narrative that transcends our individual capacities and scribes a future that stands testament to the indomitable spirit of collective endeavor, empathy, and social responsibility. Thank you.