PSHF

Philippine Self-Help Foundation

Irene Tongha

Irene (30) and Roberito (31) Tongha came to visit the PSHF office to ask for help earlier this month. They were our office administrator, Sherry's former neighbors in Tangub, and she knows their poor living and housing conditions.


Roberito has no permanent work. He occasionally earns money as a casual construction worker and when there is no work in construction, he drives a rented trisikad (a bicycle with a sidecar for passengers). He is struggling to place food on the table for his wife and three children who also have school expenses. When classes start in June, their eldest child, Ellen Mae (12), will be in Grade 

Six, Fredie (10) will be in Grade Three, and Anamae (7) will enter Grade One.


Irene has been bothered by chronic pains in her abdomen for more than a year now, painful enough to prevent her from sleeping well or holding down a job. She has been living with the pain because she and her husband cannot afford the operation or the post surgery medication she will need. The pain was so severe earlier this month that Irene was brought to the hospital and told to take laboratory tests and have an ultrasound that would cost 2,200 pesos ($55). They had only 470 pesos with them, so they left the hospital and shared their story with their barangay captain. He passed a note around their small community, and people contributed. 


The same evening, Irene and Roberito headed back to the hospital, stayed there for the night and Irene completed her tests. In the morning, the doctor informed them that Irene needed an operation as soon as possible because her condition could be fatal; she was referred to a general surgeon to be scheduled. They need 10,000 pesos ($250) for the operation which will be done before the end of the month. They do not have PhilHealth insurance, and so they came to PSHF for help.


Our grant of 20,000 pesos ($500) will cover Irene's operation and the cost of medicines for pre-surgery and during the recovery period. We are praying that through our assistance Irene shall finally be free from the pain she is experiencing and will be able to give good care to her children once more.


Lanie M. De Leon

PSHF Bacolod

May 2013


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Irene with her husband, Roberito and children: 

Ellen Mae, Fredie and Anamae.

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