(UPDATED) MANILA -- The Philippines has set a new world record for the most number of people to sign up for organ donations in a period of one hour in a single venue.
The Department of Health (DOH) said a total of 3,548 people signed up for organ donation in a span of only 30 minutes at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) in Sta. Mesa, Manila on Friday.
This number beats India, which holds the record for having 2,755 pledged organ donors in a period of one hour in one site.
The DOH said it is now just waiting for the official announcement from the Guinness Book of World Records.
However, Health Assistant Secretary Eric Tayag said that there were no Guinness officials present in any of the sign-up venues because it is costly.
“Walang Guinness official sa event dahil aabutin daw ng almost P3 million ang proseso. Sinunod na lang ng organizers ang guidelines. Magpapasa na lamang ng documentation sa Guinness. After 10 days, isasubmit ang documentation ng event.”
Meanwhile, signing up for organ donation was still ongoing as of posting, as the Philippines is also eyeing to beat India's record of having a total of 10,450 pledged organ donors in a period of 8 hours also in one site.
Aside from the PUP campus in Sta. Mesa, those interested in signing up may also go to the following sites:
Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City;
RTMC Hospital in San Fernando City, La Union;
L. Mamba Gym in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan;
JMR Coliseum in Naga City, Camarines Sur; and
Almendras Gym in Davao City, Davao del Sur.
Attempt to attract more donors
According to Dr. Antonio Paraiso, program manager of the DOH's Philippine Network for Organ Sharing, organ donation and transplantation have long been in place in the Philippines.
Unfortunately, many people still find these unacceptable due to lack of understanding and awareness about its processes and consequences, he said.
"Itong programa namin ni Dr. [Eric] Tayag will actually promote organ donation. Ngayon, we're asking people to pledge, not to donate today. We hope to provide ang kailangan ng pasyenteng Pilipino and we hope dadating ang panahon, hindi mo kailangang humingi ng kidney sa kapatid mo o sa mahal mo sa buhay because there are available donors who suffered from brain dead from an accident, violence and so on who are willing to share organs.”
Paraiso said that every year, there are about 12,000 people who need organs for transplantation but only 500 are able to receive donated organs.
In the Philippines, last year, only 36 people who died had chosen to donate their organs. -- with a report from Jeo Elamparo, ABS-CBNnews.com