On June 30, 2021, representatives from Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) trooped to Sorsogon to attend the formal launching of the Sorsogon Provincial Hospital (SPH)-Family Medicine Residency Training Program (FMRTP), which included the ceremonial signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two institutions. The BRTTH contingent included Family Medicine Department Head Dr. Lea F. Remonte, Training Officer Dr. Cruzantina L. De Guzman, medical residents, and office staff. Representing the BRTTH Medical Center Chief was Chief Administrative Officer Mr. Peter B. Almonte. Sorsogon Governor Chiz Escudero led the precidings, supported by Dr. Renato B. Bolo, Jr. and Dr. Roberto A. Chacon representing SPH, with Dr. Aileen Espina representing the Philippine Association of Family Physicians (PAFP), which is the recognized specialty society for Family Medicine as well as the accrediting body for the FMRTP.

The agreement to execute an MOU was made when BRTTH was approached by SPH for assistance in providing cases required by their Family Medicine resident physicians to graduate from the program, and for the SPH-FMRTP to be accredited. Gov. Chiz Escudero and the PAFP signed an agreement in 2020 for setting up an FMRTP in Sorsogon. The program will be based in SPH but will be attended by doctors from hospitals all over the said province. BRTTH, a level III hospital with a PAFP-accredited FMRTP and a wide catchment area, is very much in the position to support the SPH-FMRTP.

During an exploratory meeting held in June 2020 among the two hospitals and PAFP, it was agreed that BRTTH will provide supervision to rotating residents from SPH, as well as conduct shared medical conferences. The SPH-FMRTP will have its own accreditation, and endeavor to secure all required cases within Sorsogon. PAFP for its part has offered to have the SPH-FMRTP faculty line up serve as consultants for the BRTTH Family Medicine residents.

For each party, the takeaway will be: for SPH, the completion of requirements for accreditation; for BRTTH consultancy with PAFP medical specialists; and for PAFP the expansion of Family Medicine in support of the law on Universal Healthcare (kalusugan pangkalahatan).

BRTTH plays a vital role in the service delivery network in Albay, and nearby provinces, especially Sorsogon. According to Medical Center Chief Dr. Eric Raymond N. Raborar “it is significant that we strengthen our cooperation and linkages, especially in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic that we face complex challenges that have profound implications in health.”


BRTTH representatives at the launching of the Sorsogon Provincial Hospital—Family Medicine Residency Training Program. With Sorsogon Governor Chiz Escudero are Dr. Renato B. Bolo, Jr. and Dr. Roberto A. Chacon of Sorsogon of Sorsogon Provincial Hospital, and Dr. Aileen Espina of the Philippine Academy of Family Physicians.