Champions for Health Governance

By Mixie Rivera

Posted at Jun 14 2015 11:58 PM | Updated as of Jun 15 2015 07:58 AM

After six months of conducting the search for Local Government Units with outstanding health programs, the Merck Sharpe and Dome (MSD), Kaya Natin Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership, Jesse Robredo Foundation, together with the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Interior and Local Government, held the awarding ceremonies for the 2nd Champions for Health Governance Awards at C3 Events Place, Greenhills, San Juan.

“Access to medicines, as well as to quality health services is a basic right. These programs are quite inspiring and innovative in their own ways. We are very glad to be able to honor these local government units for the work that they have done in improving the delivery of health care services in their communities,” said Dr. Beaver Tamesis, president and managing director of MSD in the Philippines.

From the 12 local government unit finalists coming from different parts of the country, five winners were chosen. The top 5 winners were recognized based on how they were able to address the health-related United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, 5, 6 and DOH’s Kalusugang Pangkalahatan program. The following are this year’s winners:


Jimenez, Misamis Occidental led by Mayor Rosario Balais was recently conferred with the Red Orchid Award from the Department of Health. This award is given to LGUs that have implemented programs and projects that have made their communities 100% tobacco free. The municipality also prides itself in having Zero Percent Maternal Mortality Rate from 2012 to 2014 as well as a sharp decrease in its Infant Mortality Rate. Massive information education campaigns have played a large part in achieving these results.


The growth in the Facility Based Deliveries in a war-torn area like Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat led by Mayor Lina Montilla, was the result of an effective information education campaign. Likewise, it is worth noting that the immunization rate for children rose to 90% which has helped prevent more children from acquiring diseases such as polio and measles. Among the citations granted to the city of Tacurong are the following: National Scroll of Honor by the Philippine Red Cross, 2014 Red Orchid Award and Sandugo Kabalikat Award by the National Voluntary Services of the Department of Health.


A municipality isolated by bodies of water like Del Carmen, Siargao Islands would make it hard for people to access quality health services. This was the problem that Mayor Alfredo Coro II confronted when his LGU provided Sea Ambulances to help transport patients to the nearest rural health unit. Also, one of the health innovations of this 5th class municipality is the development of a Seal of Health Governance that aims to award barangays that meet the health score are set by their Local Health Board to address most health issues of the community.


For more than four years, Cervantes, Ilocos Sur led by Mayor Benjamin Maggay has maintained a zero maternal mortality record. Halfway homes were constructed to encourage more mothers to deliver in facility based clinics. Also, the innovative use of the Wireless Access to Health (WAH), all medical records has become readily accessible to all health workers.


Through the modules and seminars provided by the Zuellig Family Foundation, the members of the Local Health Board of Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay led by Mayor Eldwin Alibutdan, has become more active in addressing the various heath concerns of the municipality. This has led to a more participative and transparent approach towards promoting quality healthcare services to their constituents. Through this approach, the LGU is able to create greater ownership in the community leading to more successful health programs.

During the awarding ceremony, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Gerona Robredo, who is also the chairwoman of the Jesse M. Robredo Foundation, congratulated and further challenged the winners saying, “Congratulations to all the finalists and the winners, although there is still much to be done, it can’t be denied that we have gone far in making sure that mothers are not dying from giving birth, that children are not victimized by malnutrition and other debilitating afflictions, that diseases do not claim the lives and productivity of individuals. Hopefully, all your shining examples will inspire more local government units to strive to also become Champions for Health Governance.”

All the winners each received P 100,000 in cash from MSD in the Philippines and medical supplies worth
P500,000.00 from the Department of Health.

For more information about the 2nd Champions for Health Governance Awards, you can contact Sheena Valenzuela at (02) 5180021.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.