Disaster ReliefFeatured StoriesMarawi Update

US-Philippines Society and Partners to Equip a New Health Facility in Marawi

Washington, D.C. – In early August, the US-Philippines Society, the Project Handclasp Foundation, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation and Makati Medical Center Foundation signed a memorandum of agreement to provide health services and educational support to children of families displaced during the 2017 five-month Marawi Siege.

This private sector initiative, “Children of Marawi Project,” will include a health facility in Barangay Sagonsongan, the largest relocation site in Marawi. The Makati Medical Center Foundation will procure a multi-level, six classroom, semi-permanent rural health unit. The Project Handclasp Foundation and the US-Philippines Society will provide new medical equipment and training for medical professionals who will staff the health unit. The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation as the principal partner will oversee implementation and management of the project.

The project design’s first floor will feature a complete and fully equipped health station with birthing facilities. The second floor will include facilities for psycho-social interventions and a safe space for youth – a children’s corner, mini play-pen, and learning area.

The Project Handclasp Foundation was founded by members of the US Navy as a worldwide humanitarian mission led by retired Commander Charlie Tevelson for over 30 years. CDR Tevelson passed away in 2015. Current Chair retired Rear Admiral Daniel McKinnon Jr., a USPHS member, served in 1980-1982 as Naval Supplies Systems Commander in Subic Bay, Philippines. The project is “intended to help those now denied a normal life and unable to return to their schools and homes,” said McKinnon. The donation was given in the name of Tevelson who was “a leader in humanitarian assistance,” he added.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) are assisting by providing ships and planes to ferry the MyHouse modular structure, along with medical equipment and supplies. Once operational, the RHU will be turned over to the Marawi City and Lanao del Sur provincial government.

The US-Philippines Society will launch a matching funds campaign for the project. For more information about the Marawi Challenge, please visit the “Marawi Challenge” of USPHS website.

Ambassador John F. Maisto (US-Philippines Society) and Rear Admiral Daniel McKinnon (Project Handclasp Foundation) sign the Memorandum of Agreement, Washington DC.


Marawi Mercy Mission 2. L-R: Representatives of the private sector group and the Philippine Armed Forces attended the ceremonial signing in Manila. L-R: Sonny Busa (US-Philippines Society member), Elizabeth Eder Zobel de Ayala (PDRF), Manuel V. Pangilinan (US-Philippines Society Co-chair), AFP Com Gen Rolando Bautista, Aleem Guiapal (US-Philippines Society Professional Affiliate), Dr. Victor Gisbert (Makati Medical Center Foundation President) and Rene Meily (PDRF President).

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