On December 27, 2016, 5 members of the Philippine Dermatological Society were awarded the prestigious “Gawad sa Kaunlaran” medal by the Armed Forces of the Philippines, represented by Lt. Gen. Romeo Tanalgo, the Commander of the Northern Luzon Command. Recipients were Drs. Jojo Rivera, Michelle Denise Cruz, Louella Fatima Ramos, Marion Odette Alonzo and Jerome Acosta, together with other volunteers from various civic society groups.
They were recognized for their contribution as part of the “All-in-One Bayanihan sa Calayan”. It was a medical mission and relief operation held last July 26-29, 2016 in the Calayan and Babuyan Islands which benefited more than 2000 individuals from the community.
The “Gawad sa Kaunlaran Award” is one of the highest awards given by the Armed Forces of the Philippines to both military personnel and civilians “in recognition of a meritorious and valuable achievement in the pursuit of socioeconomic and other noncombatant activities of exceptional service.” The mission in Calayan was one of the many projects of AFP to reach the farthest and remotest places in the country. With this endeavor, they were able to provide services to this deprived sector of the community.