The Ripple Awards 2019 will again recognize the movers in HIV advocacy as it shortlists a total of 20 nominees, called Ripplers, from a hundred of qualified entries in three categories (Individual, Organization and Project of the Year).
From the list of 20 Ripplers, five (5) individuals, three (3) organizations and a project will be conferred the highest honors at the Love Gala 2019 (www.lovegala.org) to be held on 11 May 2019 at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent, Vertis North, Quezon City.
Just like the first recipients in 2017, the 2019 Ripple Awardees should demonstrate the genuine ability to mobilize their community towards uplifting the lives of the people affected by the HIV-AIDS epidemic in the Philippines.
The Ripplers in their respective categories:
1. Gat-Joriz Alatiit has been pivotal in the creation of the HIV/AIDS Core Team (HACT) and the HIV treatment services at the Ospital ng Biñan. Alatiit also played a major role in drafting the Biñan HIV/AIDS City Ordinance that led to the formation of the City’s local AIDS Council, which has an approved budget of PHP6 million for its HIV program implementation.
2. Mikhail Zion Taggueg built the "Cagayan Valley Support System" together with Victor Silba of GIV Group of Brazil. The organization focuses on the promotion of HIV/AIDS prevention, education, and providing care to people living with HIV (PLHIVs) in Isabela province. Taggueg became the HIV focal person in the Cagayan Valley region.
3. Daryl Simon Pecson is a working student who co-founded the Juan Posi+ive Movement (JPM), a community-based organization that spreads awareness and proper education about HIV/AIDS to the public as well as promote proper treatment and care to clients living in the remote areas of Pampanga. Pecson's leadership was instrumental in the success of JPM.
4. Ronchie Santos, putting his passion into action,established on his own the Luntiang Silong, an HIV treatment hub located at the Bulacan Medical Center that provides medical assistance to PLHIVs. Santos is also part of the Usbong ng Bulacan Support group that assists pregnant mothers living with HIV to safely deliver their babies in a hospital.
5. Joseph Michael Manlutac, the current HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Program Coordinator in Central Luzon, has helped establish 11 HIV treatment hubs and 11 primary HIV care clinics by encouraging local chief executives and heads of hospitals in a bid to boost testing and link-to-care for PLHIVs across the region. Manlutac also facilitated the creation of 12 advocacy/support groups in the region and harmonize them through the Regional PLHIV Support Network.
6. Marc Lester F. Quintana, a nurse, uses his extensive medical knowledge to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in Laguna and Batangas. Quintana pioneered the Innovative HIV Education (innoHIVe), an HIV/AIDS awareness program of the Laguna University for their different local colleges and universities.
7. Oscar Obenza Jr. serves as the Chairperson of the Olympus Society of Davao, Inc., an organization leading the way towards an inclusive, empowered, and engaged community in Davao. As a trailblazer in the HIV and AIDS advocacy, Obenza is also committed to uphold human rights and promote a gender-fair society.
8. Dr. Regina Berba is the Director of the I-REACT Clinic (I Am Responsible thru Early Assessment, Consultation, and Treatment) at The Medical City (TMC), a DOH-accredited HIV treatment hub. Under her leadership, I-REACT’s primary mission is to provide medical, psychosocial, occupational, and emotional care to people living with HIV.
9. Renato "Nato" Roque immerses himself in the community to aid PLHIVs struggling to meet their medical, psychosocial, and financial needs. Nato strongly advocates for the proper implementation of the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018 that would impact on the lives of PLHIVs and transform the HIV landscape of the country.
10. Darwin Tenoria is one of the founders and now the president of Positively Empowered People of Antipolo (PEPA), a group dedicated to intensively promote HIV awareness in Rizal province, particularly in Antipolo City. As the first PLHIV to come out publicly in the city, Darwin has been instrumental in innovating and developing their community’s response to the epidemic.
1. Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PAFPI),a community-based organization (CBO) founded in 1998, seeks to empower PLHIVs and their families to live a normal, happy, and productive life. PAFPI contributes to the national response in HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support for PLHIVs by complementing the efforts of other non-government organizations and advocates to provide accessible services for PLHIVs.
2. Olympus Society of Davao Inc.(OSDI), a recognized CBO of the DOH in Region 11, was established in March 2015. OSDI is the first group to successfully organize an LGBT coalition in Davao City that coordinates with other CBOs and LGBT groups to expand the reach of their free health services and other sexual health programs. To date, OSDI has 40 LGBT groups under its umbrella.
3. Kagay-an PLUS (Preserving Life, Uniting Society) Inc.is a non-government organization recognized by the DOH in Region 10, a partner of the Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City Health Office, and an active member of the CDO Local AIDS Council. The organization advocates for human rights and HIV/AIDS awareness and testing not only in CDO, but in Northern Mindanao. The group also links PLHIVs to treatment hubs.
4. DIOSSA (Decent Image of South Signal Association)is a CBO composed of compassionate member-volunteers, mostly from the LGBTQI+ community, who actively work together to educate, inspire, and support PLHIVs through various activities, including conducting counselling and testing caravans. DIOSSA enables and empowers PLHIVs by helping them regain their self-worth and their drive to cope with their situation.
5. Family Planning Organization of the Philippines – Iloilo City Chapter (FPOP), founded four decades ago,has not given up on its mission to help improve the quality of life of Filipinos. FPOP has emerged to become the leading reproductive health care service provider, and sexual and reproductive health rights advocate, not only in Iloilo City but in the entire Philippines.
Project of the Year Category
1. HIV Gaming, Engaging, Testing (HIV GET): Battle in the Blood (#BitB), the country’s first anti-HIV gaming application, allows the player to “fight” HIV in the bloodstream, while practically battling ignorance and stigma surrounding the virus. #BitB is an engaging platform for users to learn more about HIV, understand what it does to the body, and recognize the importance of regular testing and prompt and consistent treatment.
2. Community-Based HIV Screening(CBS) is a project initiated by the HIV & AIDS Support House (HASH) to address the concern regarding the inadequate proximity and presence of HIV testing centers throughout the country. It simply takes the HIV testing closer to the people. Supported by several NGOs, social hygiene clinics, and private organizations, CBS was able to reach areas and key populations with limited access to HIV services.
3. It’s Cool to Be Safe (#ItsCoolToBeSafe) campaign is an HIV awareness campaign launched by the Olympus Society of Davao, Inc. The campaign aims to engage and involve members of the LGBT community, and encourage HIV advocates and PLHIVs to further support the groups’ HIV/AIDS initiatives.
4. Mister and Miss Kagay-An Plus 2018 is an HIV advocacy beauty contest to help inspire advocates and increase HIV awareness. Already on its third season, the pageant aims for a unified campaign to send a stronger message about the cause. The crown serves as a symbol of both triumph and task for the titleholders to be the true champions of HIV awareness and LGBT rights in their communities.
5. PLHIV Response Center (PRC)links PLHIVs to existing service delivery networks. PRC primarily acts as a communication and coordinating platform (e.g., Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, WordPress, telephone and mobile lines as well as SMS) for PLHIV seeking treatment, people searching for information about HIV, and individuals asking assistance for testing.
This year’s Ripple Awardees will be deliberated by a roster of judges from the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and other reputable institutions. In addition, the public can also vote through social media, and that will form part of the score in the final judging.
Support the Ripplers by visiting Love Gala’s Facebook page (@lovegala.org) and like, love, or share the Rippler’s profile to gain 1 point, 2 points, or 3 points for each action respectively.
Deadline of online voting is on April 30, Friday, 11:59 PM PST.
Love Gala 2019 is hosted by The LoveYourself, Inc. and UNAIDS. LoveYourself is the leading community-led HIV advocacy group in the country, and UNAIDS leads the global effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.
Love Gala is supported by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, World Health Organization (WHO), Department of Health (Philippines), PhilHealth, Save the Children Philippines, Philippine National AIDS Council, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. and Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO); co-presented by Durex, Camber Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Hairdressers Against AIDS by L'Oreal, Cape Lupe; and sponsored by Gilead Sciences, TELUS International, Victoria Court, SIP, Inspi Philippines, Absolut Vodka & Olmeca Tequila, Okamoto Philippines, Maquillage Professionnel, Business Mirror, Digital Out of Home with contributions from Mont Albo, Shopee, Cognizant, Rotary International D3780, MASS TV, F1 Hotel Manila.