Hon. Jose “Sonny” C. Rañola, M.D.
The “DOCTOR IS IN THE HOUSE.” This may sound cliché, but this is truly what makes him dear and endeared to the City. In an article about him, in his bid for re-election to the Sanggunian in 2016; written by Jason B. Neola and published in the City Government’s magazine, Naga City SMILES; he is introduced as “the silent activist who makes himself heard by the masses”, and “a man with a big heart”.
He pioneered the philanthropic medical assistance program via a radio program entitled, “Salamat po, Doktor”, which introduced him to the community as a young medical practitioner then. Coupled with actual medical missions, the radio program ran for almost a decade. The article states, “ . . . Sonny, as he (is) fondly called, declared war along with volunteer doctors, nurses, ophthalmologists, dentists, and social workers, on the common enemies of the poor: pulmonary ailments, intestinal parasites, bad teeth, poor eyesight, stomach disorders, malnutrition and other more serious surgical cases which the needy are better prepared to die for that pay for”.
Though he mostly spent his medical profession in private entities like the St. John Hospital (in Naga City) where he served as its medical director for 33 years, and the NICC Doctors Hospital (also in Naga City), the “man with a big heart for the poor believe(d) he can serve well his fellow Naguenos as a city councilor”.
He has been a city councilor for 13 years and has twice become a top notcher councilor in the Naga local elections. In the same article, he says, “the city government has substantial resources and the capability to collaborate with other agencies to be able to provide the things that would uplift the well-being of our constituents, especially on matters about health.”
For all his works in both private and public sectors, including those which he dedicated to serving the community, especially the underprivileged, they have earned for him the following awards and accolades: Most Outstanding Bicolano Physician for 2013-2014 given by the Bicol Chapter of the Philippine Medical Association; and “The Outstanding Physician in Community Service” (TOPICS) given by the auxiliaries to the Philippine Medical Association; among others.
LEGISLATION AND CHAIRMANSHIPS Read More
His landmark legislations include: prohibiting tobacco, cigar, and cigarette smoking in public places; providing free consultation, hospitalization, medicines, and laboratory examinations from the Naga City Hospital to city government employees, Lingkod Barangay Foundation members; persons with disabilities (PWDs); members of the Association of Market Vendors/Stallholders at the Naga City Public Market and the Ladies in Green Foundation; and confirming and ratifying the amended memorandum of agreement entered into by and between the City Government of Naga and the Bicol Medical Center relative to the implementation of the Socialized Medical Care Program.
Not to be outdone is his groundwork for establishing the Naga City Hospital and other initiatives that sought to expand and improve the city-operated primary hospital, including that of the Our Lady of Lourdes Infirmary in Barangay Carolina.
His current legislation initiatives are on the reactivated Local Health Board which includes strengthening the Barangay Health Councils; the establishment of the Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center; the revival of the City’s sisterhood program towards technology exchange, vibrant tourism; and a scholarship program for poor but deserving young Naguenos who wish to enroll in the college of medicine, with the return of service to the city.
He also takes special assignment from Mayor Legacion as Chairman of the Naga City Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Committee, ensuring adequacy and safety of potable drinking water in the city.
He chairs the committees on Health and Nutrition, Games and Amusement, Culture and Arts/Tourism. He co-chairs committees on Investment, Trade, Industry and Economic Enterprise; Land Use; PWD; and Senior Citizens. He is s member of the following committees: Children, Peace and Order, Public Safety and Disaster Management, Rules and Privileges, and Ways and Means.
(Note: This article was first printed in Vol 1 of CONSEJO (Official publication of the 13th Sangguniang Panlungsod ng Naga) and posted in an earlier edition of this website.)