Good Governance in Public Health

by Jess Lorenzo

Posted at Jul 21 2012 12:17 PM | Updated as of Jul 21 2012 08:17 PM

As Kaya Natin continue to spread the news of Good Governance and Ethical leadership, we realize that we need to double our efforts to reach the ground. All too often Good Governance is nebulous and ethical leadership foreign in terms.

Kaya Natin, partnered with the Ateneo School of Government and Senator TG Guingona to launch the Good Governance in Public Health Initiative. This program engages local executives in order to strengthen Local Health Boards (LHB) by encouraging participative and innovative programs.

A composite team from Ateneo School of Government, Kaya Natin, and Sen TG went to the City of Naga, in Cebu to pilot an LHB development framework. Over three months, the team converged to work with Mayor Valdemar Chiong to facilitate a multi-sectoral plan for the local health board. The rapid assessment and planning was done by the community. We invited private hospitals, Barangay Health Workers, Midwives, and City Health Workers to discuss the health issues of the city. After the multi sectoral planning, the local government council ratified the plan which became the city health development plan.

The City of Naga celebrated the plan and launched a city wide campaign last June 29, 2012.

1. They have agreed to prioritize maternal health and allocate 10,000 PhilHealth memberships for the year. In the coming years, they have also agreed to steadily sustain and increase health insurance coverage.
2. They also agreed to prioritize the accreditation of their lying in facilities. For years, the City of Naga did not have any PhilHealth accredited lying in facility. This is important in subsidizing city health costs thru the PhilHealth system.
3. The plan also enabled the local businesses to partner with the City Health office and the LGU to adopt barangays to have doctors every week.

In the coming months, we are scaling up the initiative to engage more mayors. PhilHealth regional head, Jenet Advicnula expressed their interest to engage the mayors together with us to promote PhilHealth and increase health insurance coverage and utility. Furthermore, we are also launching an initiative to strengthen BHW’s in order to improve primary health.

At Kaya Natin, realize we need to communicate good governance by creating venues to enable local governments to become ethical and innovative in improving service delivery. Kaya Natin became a vehicle to converge leaders to discuss and realize good governance.

Ateneo School of Government Dean, Tony La Vina said, “Kaya Natin!Movement has become a very powerful instrument in achieving the goals of the Ateneo School of Government. It enabled us to engage many elected officials, from senators to congressmen, mayors, barangay captains, and other public officials to strengthen their leadership and improve delivery of basic services such as education, public health, and environment.”

In essence, we used the influence of Kaya Natin to engage Local Chiefs to introduce and encourage them towards good governance practices. These programs provide an entry point for local chiefs to be part of Kaya Natin. To become champions, they may need to be screened and scrutinized. But even before being champs the initiatives enable them to learn good practices in governance. These programs were culled from the good governance habits of champions with a few innovations and improvements. The LSB development, for example, was taken from Sec. Jesse Robredo’s model in Naga. The Local Health Board and BHW development was partly taken from Mayor Sonia Lorenzo’s efforts in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija.

As we try to expand Kaya Natin, we realize that we need to expand the good governance constituency as well in order to strengthen the demand for good governance and ethical leadership. The KN Champions are examples and proof that good governance is possible, and the KN programs are venues where mayors can realize for themselves and be part of the movement.


Comments are welcome at [email protected] or private message through Facebook. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @jesslorenzo for stories of good governance.

Jess Lorenzo is currently the program director of Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership's public health initiatives. @kayanatin on Twitter

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