Minguita Padilla

Minguita Padilla

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Minguita Padilla is an ophthalmologist, academician, author and health advocate, with a career spanning over 34 years. She previously served at the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. as head executive staff under chairman and Health Secretary Janette Garin from March 2015 to June 2016 and as a consultant at the Department of Health under Secretaries Enrique Ona and Garin from November 2014 to March 2015.

In addition to her private medical practice at major hospitals, she has advocated for organ donation, particularly corneal donation and transplant, for over 25 years. She founded the Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines in October 1995 and has been part of several international eye bank associations.

Her health advocacy has extended to fighting misinformation about health, convening the Doctors for Truth and Public Welfare in 2017, in connection with the Dengvaxia controversy. This group of physicians, academicians and scientists also promotes vaccine confidence and combats disinformation about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Padilla was also the lead medical adviser of Project ARK, a private sector initiative under the GoNegosyo umbrella, seeking to make COVID-19 testing in various forms accessible to all Filipinos and help small and medium scale businesses affected by the pandemic.

If elected senator, she intends to focus on priority areas, including an improved pandemic response, enhanced health care systems, especially PhilHealth, curbing corruption in government and ensuring more support for health care workers. She touts her medical background as a good alternative to veteran politicians.

Padilla is running under the tandem of Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III.

“Mahal na mahal ko ang aking propesyon at ang aking mga pasyente at may halong lungkot at takot ang aking pagtakbo. Pero mahal ko rin ang ating bayan na masyadong nahihirapan at parang pabaon nang pabaon sa kadiliman. Kaya tatakbo ako.”

MA. DOMINGA CECILIA “MINGUITA” BELLING PADILLA

Full Name: Ma. Dominga Cecilia Belling Padilla
Nickname: “Minguita”
Birthday: September 16, 1959 (Age 63)
Birthplace: Manila, Metro Manila
Languages Spoken: Filipino, English
Parents:
– Teodoro de los Reyes Padilla, father, former Supreme Court Justice
– Tita Lou Ellen Belling, mother
Siblings:
– Oscar Lopez, doctor
– Sabino Padilal, lawyer
Spouse: Victor Lopez (2001), doctor
Children: Information unavailable
Profession/Occupation: Physician

EDUCATION

  • Doctor of Medicine, University of the Philippines Manila April, 1985; (Outstanding graduate in Academics and Leadership, top 10)
  • Bachelor of Science in Zoology, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City; April, 1981; (Cum Laude)
  • High School education at Assumption College, San Lorenzo, Makati I 977; (Valedictorian and Marie Eugene Awardee)
  • Pre-school and elementary Education: St. Scholastica’s College, Manila. prom 1976 to 1973 (Graduated with Merit)

WORK EXPERIENCE

  • Practicing ophthalmologist (34 years)
  • Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Philippine General Hospital, UP College of Medicine
  • St. Luke’s Medical Center-Global City:
    • Consultant
    • Head, Committee on Ethics and Discipline
    • Head, Ocular Tissue Transplant Service
    • Member, advisory board to the president
  • President, of the Association of Eye Banks in Asia, 2021
  • Medical Lead, Project ARK
  • Member, of the Executive Committee of the Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations
  • Co-convenor, Doctors for Truth and Public Welfare, 2017-present
  • Head Executive Staff, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Mar. 31, 2015-June 30, 2016
  • Consultant to the Secretary of Health, Department of Health, Nov. 2014-Mar. 2015
  • Fellow, Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology
  • Member, American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery
  • Member, Philippine Medical Association
  • Founding council member, Asia Cornea Society
  • Technical Adviser, DOH Philippine Organ Donation and Transplantation Program
  • President, Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology, 2006 and 2007
  • Founder and president, Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines, 1995-2021
  • Published academic researcher

AWARDS AND RECOGNITIONS

  • “Heroes for Health” award in (2005)
  • Centennial awardees of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, also in (2005)
  • Prevention of Blindness Award from the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology” and “Outstanding Filipino Physician” Award from the Jaycee Senate, the DOH, and Philhealth, (2009)
  • Jose Rizal Memorial Lecture Award from the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology. This lifetime achievement award is the highest award the academy can give to anyone. The title of her lecture was “Footnotes from the Battlefield of Medicine”, (2017)
  • Distinguished Service Award. Given by the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology, SMX Convention Center. (November 20, 2010)
  • Outstanding Service in Prevention of Blindness Award, (May 15, 2009)

 MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT

Public Sector

Padilla was briefly appointed to PhilHealth under chairman and Health Secretary Janette Garin. She helped effect reforms to improve efficiency and lessen fraud, and raised concerns about anomalies in some private hospitals. In 2019, she would agree with allegations of padded or manufactured medical benefit claims by hospitals and stress that fraud would not be so prevalent if no one from the inside was protecting corrupt officials. At that time, conservative estimates were that from 2013 to 2018, the public lost P154 billion due to PhilHealth’s overpayments and other fraudulent schemes.

In addition, Padilla warned it would be very dangerous once PhilHealth was given more funds to implement the universal health care program. Her claims were strongly denied by then-acting president and CEO Dr. Roy Ferrer, stating that no mafia could survive in PhilHealth under the watch of President Rodrigo Duterte. PhilHealth would then figure in several controversies, including the failure to flag the fraudulent claims of Wellmed Dialysis Center that led to President Duterte demanding courtesy resignations of Dr. Ferrer and other board members in June 2019.

Private Sector

Padilla has been a physician and surgeon, specializing in ophthalmology, for more than three decades. Currently, she is a clinical associate professor ng Philippine General Hospital-UP College of Medicine and serves multiple roles at the St. Luke’s Medical Center-Global City.

She is the founder and president of the Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines, which is a non-profit, non-government, humanitarian organization formed in October 1995 that owns and operates a medical eye bank named the Santa Lucia International Eye Bank of Manila.

Padilla has authored and co-authored various published scientific papers and socio-political commentaries. She was involved in the drafting of key laws since 1994, with the passage of Republic Act No. 7170 (or the Organ Donation Act), as amended by R.A. 7885 (An Act to Promote Corneal Transplantation in the Philippines) and approval by President Fidel V. Ramos in 1995.

In 2002, she led a movement of various health care groups and became an official spokesperson of the Philippine Medical Association in the campaign to defeat proposed bills in both chambers of Congress seeking to criminalize medical malpractice. She has continued to consult and serve on technical working committees for health care bills in both chambers.

Ma. Dominga “Minguita” B. Padilla , MD, FPAO

Dr. Ma. Dominga B. Padilla, or “Minguita” as she is more popularly known, is a Clinical Associate Professor of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Philippine General Hospital, UP College of Medicine. She is the founding and current President and CEO of the Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines and a Founding Council member of the Asia Cornea Society. She also serves as a technical adviser for the DOH Philippine Organ Donation and Transplantation Program (PODTP). She is a past president of the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology. On April 28, 2021, she became the President of the Association of Eye Banks in Asia, a supra-national organization of eye banks among countries in Asia. She was recently appointed as a member of the Executive Committee of the Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations. (GAEBA)

Dr. Padilla is an active consultant at the St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City where she also heads the hospital’s Committee on Ethics and Discipline. She is also the Head of the Ocular Tissue Transplant Service of the same Hospital and a member of the Advisory board to the president of the same hospital system. During the COVID-19 Pandemic, she became the lead Medical Adviser for Project ARK, a private sector-led movement under the umbrella of GoNegosyo, that has endeavored to make SARS-CoV2 testing in various forms, accessible to Filipinos from all walks of life. In 2017 she co-convened the “Doctors for Truth and Public Welfare” a group of physicians, academicians, and scientists who came together to counter the dangerous misinformation being propagated, and the persecution of physicians and scientists, in connection with Dengvaxia. Today the group continues its work of promoting vaccine confidence and fighting disinformation in connection with the COVID vaccines.

She has authored and co-authored various publications, ranging from scientific papers to socio-political commentaries. She has been involved in the crafting of important legislation since 1994, starting with the passage of RA 7170 ( The Organ Donation Act) as amended by RA 7885 ( An Act to Promote Corneal Transplantation in the Philippines) which was signed into law by President Ramos in 1995. She contributed significantly to the crafting of the IRR for the same Law. In 2002 she led a movement of various healthcare organizations and became an official spokesperson of the Philippine Medical Association in the campaign to thwart bills in both houses of Congress that sought to criminalize medical malpractice. Through the years, since the 1990s, Dr. Padilla has been a consultant and a frequent member of technical working committees of both houses of Congress for bills concerning healthcare.

Dr. Padilla is a recipient of multiple awards and recognitions, both local and international, for her pioneering work in eye banking, alleviation of blindness, community service, and curbing healthcare fraud. To name a few, she was a recipient of the “Heroes for Health” award in 2005, among the centennial awardees of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, also in 2005. In 2009 she received the “Prevention of Blindness Award from the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology” as well as the “Outstanding Filipino Physician” Award from the Jaycee Senate, the DOH, and Philhealth. In 2017, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to ophthalmology, she received the Jose Rizal Memorial Lecture Award from the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology. This lifetime achievement award is the highest award the academy can give to anyone. The title of her lecture was “Footnotes from the Battlefield of Medicine”.

A staunch advocate of improving healthcare through good governance, she accepted an appointment to serve as Head Executive Staff (HES) of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation from March 31, 2015, to June 30, 2016. During her short stint as HES in the latter part of the Aquino Administration, she was able to help effect numerous reforms inside the PHIC meant to improve efficiency and lessen fraud. Among them was the cleansing of the internal user database and the establishment of an integrated IT system with a PHIC dashboard. She also led the review of the case rates and the institution of policies in cooperation with the FDA that would prevent cataract fraud and promote patient safety.

She actively lobbied for the passage of the Universal Healthcare Act as a spokesperson for the University of the Philippines UHC Study Group during the final push in the last three years leading to the actual enactment of the law in 2019. She continues to lend her expertise drawn from years of advocacy in health and good governance, to various government and non-government endeavors for health and public welfare.

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