Health & Beauty | February 2005
|Police Bare Teeth to Boost Public Image|
Philippine police with bad teeth got something to grin about Monday when President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (news - web sites)'s husband handed out free dentures to improve the confidence and public image of the national force.
Mike Arroyo's "A New Smile for the Toothless" campaign originally focused on market vendors in Manila but was extended to police officers, who earn as little as $157 per month.
Omar Taribul, a senior officer with two decades of service, said he had endured years of humiliation since losing his teeth in a gunbattle with communist rebels in 1994.
"I can smile because I now have a brand new set of teeth," Taribul said at the headquarters of the Philippine National Police's southern command in Manila, as dentists examined members of the force.
About 200 officers have received free dentures, worth about $50 per set. The scheme is due to help another 200 police, as well as their families, with dental care.
"This will boost their confidence," said dentist Marilen Acuna Principe. "When you're missing some teeth and you have to talk to people, then you tend to become embarrassed."