The country’s first Barangay Behavioral Health Unit (BBHU) was built by SM Foundation in Lahug Wellness Center, Cebu City. The health facility renovated by the Foundation also has a new laboratory, birthing center and TB-DOTS room to make the complex qualified for PhilHealth accreditation.

In addition, the health facility has a Felicidad T. Sy Wellness Center for the Elderly and Wellness Center for Children, Dental clinic, Nurses’ room and Pharmacy. The foundation has also provided furniture, laboratory equipment and initial supply of medicines.

Lahug Wellness Center will be a ‘one-stop shop’, multi-service, multifunctional facility housing the country’s first ever established BBHU pursuant to the ordinance sponsored by Deputy Mayor for Health Hon. Mary Ann De Los Santos. She said it is a dream come true for their team to finally have a BBHU, as they have been advocating for comprehensive health services that includes mental health for years. With a BBHU, they would be able to address the very roots of problems in society like drugs, depression, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, family and relational conflicts, and the like.

The councilor added that she is grateful for the private-public partnership between their local government and SM, which gives their underprivileged constituents access to quality health care and helps their center prepare for Philhealth accreditation, to also decongest their public hospitals. She hopes that SM’s model of social conscience and service inspires not just other big corporations but also civic organizations and individuals.

Connie Angeles, SM Foundation Executive Director for Health and Medical Programs, assured the citizens of Lahug that the foundation will take care of the center’s upkeep and maintenance. The crowd gushed with surprise when she said that the company will come back to repaint and do other works as needed, and they cheered upon hearing the good news.

At the end of the program, everybody welcomed Precious Samantha, daughter of Noemi Edradan, the first baby delivered at the improved birthing center. Comparing it to the facility where she first gave birth in 2015, Noemi exclaimed that the new health center is much bigger and cleaner.

Lahug Wellness Center is SM Foundation’s 132nd Wellness Center and 36th improved community center nationwide. The health center serves 39,573 families in 48 sitios, the biggest among the barangays in the City of Cebu.