Leadership training aids health roadmap creation for Ilocos LGUs

By Freddie G. Lazaro, PIA 1, Ilocos Norte

CANDON CITY – The Municipal Leadership and Governance Program (MLGP) led by the Department of Health (DOH) in the Ilocos proved to be an important component in the creation of a doable roadmap for health concerns.

This was cited by Candon City Mayor Ericson Singson, one of the nine mayors from the Ilocos region who successfully finished the first batch of MLGP held in partnership with the Zuellig Family Foundation and the Benguet State University (BSU).

“Through this MLGP training, we’re able to identify the problems of our constituents in the 42 barangays of our city particularly on health and we found solutions to address these problems,” said Singson during the “Kapihan sa Candon” initiated by the DOH in coordination with the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Region 1 last Thursday.

Under the MLGP, local government units (LGUs) used a roadmap with the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) six building blocks of health such as health leadership and governance; health financing; health human resource; health information system; access to medicine and technology; and health service delivery.

Using this roadmap, the LGUs reviewed their health indicators to check what problems were needed to be addressed.

Singson added that their MLGP training is meant to meet their targets on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which are eight time-bounded targets drafted by the United Nations in 2000 to reduce extreme poverty in the world.

Three of the goals are health-related such as reduction of child mortality; improvement of maternal health; and combat of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.

Some of the health programs realized by the Candon City government during their MLGP were the creation of a local health board, the organization of the barangay health board for the 42 barangays, the pushing for the formulation of the barangay health leadership plans, the activation of the Wireless Access for Health (WAH) and the institutionalization of the allocation of five percent from the 20 percent development fund of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of every barangay intended for health programs.

Aside from the mayors, the health officers of the towns of San Ildefonso, Sugpon, Quirino, Alilem and Gregorio del Pilar; and Candon City, all in Ilocos Sur; San Gabriel in La Union; and Basista and Laoac in Pangasinan were also among the first batch to complete the MLGP for Region 1.

Each local government unit (LGU) in the first batch of the training received P200,000 from DOH Region 1 office to help with their health programs’ operating expenses. The awarding was held on June 26, 2015 at Oasis Country Resort and Hotel in San Fernando City, La Union during the graduation rite.

As initial impact of the program, Candon City and the other eight LGUs have reported zero maternal and infant deaths in their areas, meeting MDGs 4 and 5 as of June 26, 2015.

MLGP is a one-year leadership program for Local Chief Executives (LCEs) and Municipal Health Officers (MHOs) requiring them to complete the four-day Module 1 sessions, six-month practicum, four-day Module 2 sessions and another six-month practicum before they will graduate.

The final component of MLGP is the colloquium in which the LCEs and MHOs were able to reflect on their leadership journey, highlight their achievements, health indicators and the lessons they learned during the one year period.#