Koronadal City—“Yes, I could hear you loud and clear!” Every child from South Cotabato who was at the Lagao Gym in General Santos City exclaimed whenever a hearing aid was attached to their ears. Some lost their sense of hearing since birth. South Cotabato’s good friend Starkey Hearing Foundation distributed hearing aids to 532 people from South Cotabato who have lost their sense of hearing because of a disease, birth defect, and aging. The team met up with the beneficiaries on November 14, 2019.
Haidee Agustin, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer, said the global charity organization first visited the SOCSKSARGEN since 2013. The first batch of beneficiaries was at least 600 deaf.
“The hearing aids are customized and free. The foundation will also provide extra battery,” Agustin said.
Each hearing aid costs P15,000 to P20,000 and, in many instances, hearing-impaired persons, especially those who are underprivileged, have no means to acquire one.
The program beneficiaries undergo four phases: patient identification, hearing mission, aftercare, and speech test supervised by the Starkey Hearing Foundation three months ago.
“This is the greatest early Christmas gift for the beneficiaries,” Agustin said.