Pediatric Department

The Pediatric Department consists of an Outpatient Section, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), a Neonatal Care Unit (NCU), and a Community Pediatric Section.

The Outpatient Section averages 40 to 60 patients a day. It is attended by Medical clerks, Senior Interns and Resident Physician Trainees under the supervision of Pediatric Consultants.  The services include care for well-baby, immunization, and parental education. It boasts of specific services for pediatric cardiology, pulmonology, allergology, nephrology, infectious, hematology and adolescent care under sub-specialty consultants.   This unit is where non-emergent cases are cared for as well as where discharged patients after confinement are being followed up for continuity of care.

The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is manned by Senior Resident Physician Trainees under the guidance of two Pediatric Intensivists. This area is equipped with the latest state of the art facilities aimed at providing advanced health support for the acutely and chronically ill pediatric patients.

The Neonatal Care Unit consists of three sections, the ICU proper, Intermediate Area for transient babies, and an Isolation Room. Admission for Service Patients averages 60 to 80 per month and for Pay Patients 80 to 100 deliveries per month. Babies are roomed-in except for sick babies who require close monitoring. The Intermediate Area contains 9 incubators, 1 transport incubator, and 3 radiant warmers.  Given the presence of a Perinatology Section, high-risk newborns are often admitted in the ICU.  The ICU proper can accommodate 7 patients and is equipped with ventilators, cardiac monitors, perfusion pumps, blue Bili lights, pulse oximeters and CPAP gadgets.  All sections in the NCU are attended by Senior Interns and Resident Physician Trainees under the supervision of Pediatric Consultants and two Neonatologists.


The birth of the Department of Pediatrics was in 1950, when the MCU dispensary was constructed to give the needed training for medical students. Dr Leon Pecache, the first chair of the Department (1950-1962), together with 3 members of the staff, laid the ground for the establishment of what was to become one of the assets of MCU-FDTMF – the Pediatric Department.

To date, there had been 12 other chairs who continued to uplift the services offered by the department. They are:

  • Dr. Aurora Alcid (1962-1963)
  • Dr. Rosita Brillantes (1963-1976)
  • Dr. Esperanza Rivera (1977-1985)
  • Dr. Nilda Sunico-Castro (1986-1989)
  • Dr. Lucita Aguilar (1989-1993)
  • Dr. Manuel Ferreria (1994-1997)
  • Dr. Elvira Abreu (1997-2000)
  • Dr. Lourdes Balcueva (2000-2003)
  • Dr. Teresita Rabanal (2003-2007)
  • Dr. Cesar Ong (2007-2010)
  • Dr. Elizabeth Telado (2010-2012)
  • Dr. Jocelyn Yambao-Franco (2012-2014)
  • Dr. Maria Rosario Cruz ( 2014-2017)

In 1971, the MCU-FDTMF Hospital offered training programs for its postgraduate trainees in all clinical departments including the Department of Pediatrics. It was in 1979 under the chairmanship of Dr. Esperanza Rivera that the pediatric residency training program was started and eventually in 1984, granted accreditation by the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS). Since then, the training program has been continuously accredited by the PPS.

In 1973, the Pediatric service was stratified into Clinical and Pay Divisions. In the early 1980’s rooming-in of newborn babies was already being advocated. A “teen center” was also established for adolescent patients. In 1986, an isolation room for infectious diseases was added in the pediatric ward. A diarrheal treatment room in the emergency room was placed to try using oral hydration in the treatment of patients with diarrhea.

The need for close monitoring of seriously ill patients set the beginning for an intensive care unit for pediatric patients. Thus in 1985, a room in the pediatric ward, was converted into a PICU. This was later transferred to its present location with state of the art facilities.

In 1994, under the chairmanship of Dr. Manuel Ferreria the Neonatal ICU was renovated and equipped with its first transport incubator as well as blue light, radiant warmer and pulse oximeter. The increase in deliveries of high-risk neonates necessitated the purchase of more equipment.

Complying with Philippine laws on breastfeeding, the Hospital through the efforts of the Department, was certified as a Mother Baby Friendly Hospital in 1997. To this end, the DOH has revisited the hospital last 2014 to determine compliance with breastfeeding policies prior to re-accreditation.

In 2003, the Department in cooperation with the John Hopkins Hospital Child Life Department and Psychosocial Care Foundation for Filipino Children, opened a Play Therapy Room. Its objective was to create and utilize a nurturing health environment to minimize the fear, stress and anxiety of admitted patients. It also aimed to promote psychosocial adjustment in the hospital thus making the hospital stay of patients enjoyable.

Being one of the original five medical schools, the MCU Department of Pediatrics, takes pride in hosting the PPS annual convention every 6 years.  The following successfully organized and became over-all chair of the PPS annual convention:

  • Dr. Urbano Mendoza (1967)
  • Dr. Nilda Sunico-Castro (1972)
  • Dr. Esperanza Rivera (1978)
  • Dr. Lucita Aguilar (1984)
  • Dr. Manuel Ferreria (1990)
  • Dr. Jocelyn Yambao-Franco, (1996)
  • Dr. Della Pelaez (2002)
  • Dr. Cesar Ong (2008)
  • Dr. Florentina Ty (2014)

The consultant staff is proud to have officers of national societies. Among them:

  • PPS past presidents Dr. Leon Pecache (1958-1961), Dr. Esperanza Rivera (1980-1982) and Dr. Jocelyn Yambao-Franco (2006-2008)
  • Incumbent PPS National Treasurer Dr. Florentina Ty
  • Incumbent PPS board members Dr. Cesar Ong and Dr. Benjamin Lim
  • Incumbent PPS board members Dr. Cesar Ong and Dr. Benjamin Lim
  • Past and present subspecialty society officers include Dr. Manuel Ferreria (Allergology), Dr. Della Pelaez (Cardiology), Dr. Cesar Ong and Dr. Nephthalie Ordonez (Pulmonology), Dr. Maria Rosario Cruz (Nephrology), Dr. Teresita Rabanal (Neurology), Dr. Felizardo Gatcheco (Gastroenterology) and Dr. Melba Masigan (Infectious Disease)
  • Lucita Aguilar was past president of the Philippine Medical Women’s Association
  • Appointed to the Philippine Regulation Commission were Dr. Esperanza Rivera and Dr. Lucita Aguilar

Since the first postgraduate course in 1977 during the chairmanship of Dr. Rivera, the Department has been conducting on a yearly basis, postgraduate courses on basic and subspecialty topics with well renowned local and international speakers such as Dr. Jacob Aranda and Dr. Jonathan Craig to mention a few.

A postgraduate course for doctors, nurses and other paramedics was also initiated through the efforts of Dr. Florentina Ty in 1991. The objective was to aid physicians, nurses and other paramedics to be competent in their clinical skills through lectures and workshops. The course conducted at the MCU-FDTMF grounds, was attended by nurses and other paramedics who desire to improve their clinical skills especially in resuscitation.

Currently, the Department is being ably chaired by Dr. Nepthalie Ordonez, supported by her court of outstanding pediatric consultant staff.  And true to its mission and vision, this department will remain committed in the pursuit of excellence in the practice of Pediatric Medicine.

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela.

Indeed, the very soul of MCU as a medical provider is reflected on how excellently it provides child health services, which undoubtedly is one of the best in the Philippines.