scheme were followed and complied with. Witnesses to the contract signing included the Chairman of the PCS Building Committee, concurrently Chairman of the Board of PCS Foundation and PCS Treasurer, Dr. Teodoro P. Nuguid and the other members of the Building Committee: Doctors Raul G. Fores, Ponciano M. Bernardo, Jr., Avenilo P. Aventura, Bienvenido B. Aldanese, Ernesto P. Cruz, Gloria D. Lim and Jose G. Geotina. The ground breaking at the PCS lot was held on August 15, 1981. Towards the last leg of construction, the project strained the PCS funds and budget. For one, it incurred a total debt of P255,000 loan from Dr. Teodoro Nuguid and other fellows. At about this time, Henry Sy of Shoemart proposed to build a 3 storey building in exchange for PCS moving to a site 250 meters away from the present site. Doctors Arguelles, Aldanese and Bustamante were tasked to submit their reaction by November 26, 1982. In spite of the offer which could have solved the financial woes of the PCS, the negotiation seemed to have fizzled out as nothing had been mentioned on this matter in any of the official reports of the presidents. On August 31, 1984, with Dr. George Eufemio as president, construction of the second and third floors of the building was completed. In his address during the Annual Convention that December at the Manila Garden, Dr. Eufemio invited members to see the building whose second and third floors had been finished. But the financial report also indicated a serious problem of the organization. PCS Treasurer Dr. Leonardo A. Ona, reported the very low cash position of the College. While some income was expected towards the end of the year, the payables included the interest for loans incurred from PCS members. In July 1985, the sign of the PCS building was installed. On December 4, 1985, with little fanfare, the PCS building was blessed in a ceremony with Fr. Nicanor “Nico” Bautista officiating, a day before the opening of the Annual Convention. It was 15 years from the time that the PCS purchased the lot, made the plans and put the cornerstone. Propitious it was because they were at the onset of the College’s golden anniversary celebration the following year. The following day, December 5, 1985, President Vicente Arguelles addressed the Fellows during the Annual Convention: “We had the formal blessing yesterday, December 4. I urge you all of our fellows to visit our building and secretariat. It is just a stone’s throw away from the big Shoemart building complex at the West Avenue Circle along EDSA, Quezon City. It is now easier to find because [we have placed] a big sign in its façade with our logo and bold letters of stainless steel, THE PHILIPPINE COLLEGE OF SURGEONS.”
From the happy announcement of President Dr. Arguelles, it would look that building the permanent headquarters of the PCS had been as easy as a walk in the park. From the time of conception to its reality, a total of 15 years, it seemed like each PCS president had put one brick upon another brick painstakingly. It took that long and it was not easy. Here are the facts and figures: 1. Construction started August 16, 1981 2. Officially finished on August 31, 1984 3. Total cost: P3,029,012. 33 4. Funds came from loans from members, assessment fees, contributions, fund-raising activities, savings from previous years 5. Total floor area: first floor, 480 sq. m.; second floor, 483 sq. m.; third floor, 483 sq. m. After a period of uncertainty regarding the financial position of the College, the coffers had stabilized. More than a thousand surgeons were inducted as fellows of the College. The PCS had become a more solid institution indicated not only by a new building but by a corporate seal, a hymn and a clear vision as what it wanted to be. The organic committees were established and the Singian annual lectures launched. In 1994, the construction of the building extension started.