Want to lick COVID? Elect her senator

Dra. Ma. Dominga B. Padilla, or “Minguita” as she is more popularly known, is a clinical associate professor of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Philippine General Hospital, UP College of Medicine.

She is the founder and current president and CEO of the Eye Bank Foundation of the Philippines and a Founding Council member of the Asia Cornea Society. She also serves as a technical adviser for the DOH Philippine Organ Donation and Transplantation Program (PODTP).

Minguita is a past president of the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology. On April 28, 2021, she became the President of the Association of Eye Banks in Asia, a supra-national organization of eye banks in the region.

She was recently appointed a member of the Executive Committee of the Global Alliance of Eye Bank Associations. (GAEBA).

Dr. Padilla is an active consultant at the St. Luke’s Medical Center Global City where she also heads the hospital’s Committee on Ethics and Discipline.

She is also the head of the Ocular Tissue Transplant Service of St. Luke’s BGC and a member of the Advisory board to the president of the same hospital system.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic she became the lead Medical Adviser for Project ARK, a private sector-led movement under the umbrella of GoNegosyo, that has endeavored to make SARS-CoV2 testing in various forms, accessible to Filipinos from all walks of life.

Dengvaxia disinformation

In 2017, she co-convened the “Doctors for Truth and Public Welfare” a group of physicians, academicians and scientists who came together to counter the dangerous misinformation being propagated, and the persecution of physicians and scientists, in connection with Dengvaxia.

The group continues its work of promoting vaccine confidence and fighting disinformation in connection with the COVID vaccines.

Dr. Minguita has authored and co-authored various publications, ranging from scientific papers to socio-political commentaries.

She has been involved in the crafting of important legislation since 1994, starting with the passage of RA 7170 (The Organ Donation Act) as amended by RA 7885, and an Act to Promote Corneal Transplantation in the Philippines which was signed into law by President Ramos in 1995.

The doctora contributed significantly to the crafting of the IRR for the same law.

In 2002, she led a movement of various healthcare organizations and became an official spokesperson of the Philippine Medical Association in the campaign to thwart bills in both houses of Congress that sought to criminalize medical malpractice.

Since the 1990s, Dr. Padilla has been a consultant and a frequent member of technical working committees of both houses of Congress for bills concerning healthcare.


Dr. Padilla is a recipient of multiple awards and recognitions, both local and international, for her pioneering work in eye banking, alleviation of blindness, community service and curbing healthcare fraud.

She was a recipient of the “Heroes for Health” award in 2005 and among the centennial awardees of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, also in 2005.

In 2009, she received the “Prevention of Blindness Award from the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology” and the “Outstanding Filipino Physician” Award from the Jaycee Senate, the DOH and Philhealth.

In 2017, in recognition for her outstanding contribution to ophthalmology, she received the Jose Rizal Memorial Lecture Award from the Philippine Academy of Ophthalmology. This lifetime achievement award is the highest recognition the academy can give to anyone. The title of her lecture was “Footnotes from the Battlefield of Medicine”.

Staunch advocate

A staunch advocate of improving healthcare through good governance, she accepted an appointment to serve as Head Executive Staff (HES) of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation from March 31, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

During her short stint as HES in the latter part of the Aquino Administration, she helped effect numerous reforms inside the PHIC meant to improve efficiency and lessen fraud.

Among the reforms were the cleansing of the internal user database and the establishment of an integrated IT system with a PHIC dashboard. She also led the review of the case rates, and the institution of policies in cooperation with the FDA that would prevent cataract fraud and promote patient safety.

Dra. Padilla actively lobbied for the passage of the Universal Healthcare Act as a spokesperson for the University of the Philippines UHC Study Group during the final push in the last three years leading to the actual enactment of the law in 2019. She continues to lend her expertise drawn from years of advocacy in health and good governance, to various government and non-government endeavors for health and public welfare.