Kaya Natin! Looks for Champions in Health Governance

Manila Bulletin, March 2, 2013 | Go to article overview

Kaya Natin! Looks for Champions in Health Governance


Kaya Natin!, a non-partisan, multi-sectoral movement committed to good governance and ethical leadership recently launched the nationwide search dubbed "Champions for Health Governance Awards," an initiative recognizing top performing Local Government Units (LGUs) for excellent and efficient implementation of their local health programs.

The search which is being held in partnership with Merck Sharp & Dohme Philippines (MSD), the Ateneo School of Government, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Health, is open to all health programs conducted on the municipal and city levels. Programs must be running for at least two years. The winning LGUs will receive a cash grant to continue their outstanding initiatives on health.

LGUs will be evaluated and screened based on criteria such as good governance (local leadership, transparency and accountability) and public health governance (effectiveness, innovation, health resource management and community engagement). Their respective health programs will also be assessed based on how these have worked towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs aim to reduce child mortality rates, improve maternal health, and reduce incidences of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.

During the launch, Ifugao Rep. and Kaya Natin! champion Teddy Baguilat discussed the vital role of the LGU in providing the political will necessary to enact key health policies, and help the country achieve the MDGs.

"The key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals are the local government units. Who pays for the salaries of the health workers and midwives? Who leads rural health programs? Who galvanizes the youth in order to actively participate in programs for public health? It is the local government units," says Baguilat.

Meanwhile, Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines executive director and Kaya Natin! champion Sonia Lorenzo emphasized the importance of making public health a main concern. "The challenge for elected officials is to understand the dynamics of public health in order to lead the community," she stresses. …

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