Marikina St. Vincent General Hospital offers FREE cleft surgery at Smile Train Comprehensive Cleft Care Center


FREE cleft surgery

I was invited yesterday at the 12th anniversary celebration of Smile Train Philippines and Marikina St Vincent General Hospital's partnership in providing safe and quality cleft treatment to the community. The hospital also formally launched the Smile Train Comprehensive Cleft Care (CCC) center. While touring the facility, I met Leo Amare Yape from Samar (left) and Christ Andre Clemente from Ilocos Norte (right) who travelled all the way to Marikina to avail of the FREE treatment.  They were just two of the many children currently being treated at the cleft care center.

Marikina St Vincent General Hospital

Smile Train’s sustainable model of partnering with local medical professionals and hospitals in the country helps to improve access to safe, high-quality, and timely treatment for adults and children born with a cleft lip and/or palate. Like many of its CCC partners, Marikina St. Vincent General Hospital offers cleft surgery, orthodontic and dental treatment, and speech therapy at no cost.

baby cleft lip

In the Philippines, where more than 5,000 babies are born with a cleft palate every year, access to various cleft-related treatments remains vital. Thus, individuals living in Marikina, Rizal, and nearby provinces who are unable to afford cleft care will continue to benefit from these services, which are essential components of effective and impactful cleft treatment. Families who learn of the high-quality treatment at the center travel from all over the country to receive care in the hospital. 

“It has been 12 years since we partnered with Smile Train to provide free treatment and care for individuals with cleft and their families. Being able to offer comprehensive cleft care strengthens our resolve to provide life-changing treatment for the cleft community all-year round and in the future,” says Dr. Jenny Deoduco-Mercado, Program Coordinator for Smile Train at Marikina St. Vincent’s General Hospital. 

Dr. Jenny Deoduco-Mercado, Medical Director of Marikina St. Vincent’s General Hospital

Aside from Marikina St. Vincent General Hospital, Smile Train offers comprehensive cleft care through partners such as the Philippine Band of Mercy, Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation of the Philippines, Craniofacial Foundation of the Philippines, San Fernandino Hospital in Pampanga, Mabuhay Deseret Foundation in ARC Hospital in Cebu, and Tebow CURE Hospital in Davao. Through the help of its partners, Smile Train has been able to support more than 68,000 cleft surgeries in the Philippines. 

“To date, our partnership with Marikina St. Vincent General Hospital has helped thousands of Filipinos in need of comprehensive cleft care, performing over 4,900 life-changing surgeries. As the world’s largest cleft-focused organization, it is our vision to partner with more local hospitals and make cleft care more accessible for Filipinos all-year round,” said Jun Grimares, Program Director, Smile Train Philippines.

The Marikina St. Vincent General Hospital Cleft Care Center is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 4pm. For inquiries and scheduling, you may call or send a text message to Gerry at 0927-318-1485 or Charlie at 0927-058-6605. For medical-related questions, you can get in touch with Dr. Edmund Mercado at 0917-0516-0066.

To know more about Smile Train’s global efforts and to donate, please visit To learn more about Smile Train’s local programs in the Philippines and to refer a patient in need, please visit Follow Smile Train Philippines on Instagram @SmileTrainPh, and like us on Facebook at @SmileTrainPhilippines.

Standing from left: Mercedes Litan, HMO/Philhealth Staff; Charlie Bacerra, Nurse; PS Ramos, Patient Coordinator/Nurse; Dr. Edmund Mercado, Chief of Clinics and Head of Surgery, Marikina St. Vincent’s General Hospital; Jun Grimares, Program Director, Smile Train Philippines; Giorgia Danga, Speech Language Pathologist; Van Davidon, Communications Manager for Southeast Asia, Smile Train; Dr. Chrys Marquez, Orthodontist

Seated from left: Tompet Lolarga, Program Manager, Smile Train Philippines; Bettina Mercado, Smile Train Student Ambassador; Dr. Jenny Deoduco-Mercado, Program Coordinator for Smile Train, Marikina St. Vincent’s General Hospital; Dr. Emmanuel Bueno, Medical Director, Marikina St. Vincent’s General Hospital; Dr. Jocelyn Rivera, Pediatrician Consultant