Lingayen- - -“On top of hospital and curative health care, it is the moral obligation of every LGU to strengthen its internal capability for public health promotion, and disease prevention.”
This was disclosed by Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. during the 5th Annual Provincial Health Summit and LGU Scorecard Awarding Ceremony as he appealed for unity of purpose among local leaders in Pangasinan to attain the goal of making Pangasinan the ‘home of healthiest Filipinos.’
During the event, the Governor said the local government officials, more than anyone else, should become more conversant and authoritative on the local health situation, and local health priorities because they should know better and therefore must take the lead in providing basic directions in local health programs to external and other partners like the Dept. of Health (DOH), the province, the NGOs, and donor agencies and institutions like the European Commission (EC) and the USAID.
Having stated this, the provincial chief executive hinted on setting politics aside so that all goals shall be attained for the benefit of the people especially those who are poor and sick.
“It would be a sad and embarrassing story, if the local government officials, instead of leading the way, have to depend on the dictates and prescriptions of their external health partners, because the LGU officials themselves are neither aware, nor conversant, of their local health situation, and consequently, are not in a position to propose what’s good for their respective constituencies,” Gov. Espino said.
On the part of the provincial government, the Governor said that the provincial government has done its share of prioritizing the health of the people which can be seen in the amount of budget being allocated which translates to about 25 percent of the total annual budget that goes to the health program alone.
He stressed that if there is one thing that he could leave as legacy to Pangasinan it would be the health programs and projects that were instituted during his term from July 2007 up to the end of his tenure in June 2016.
In connection, Dr. Anna Maria Teresa De Guzman, PHO chief, said that out of the P712, 249,248 total budget for health, a huge bulk of P544,306,705 goes to hospital services while P167,942,543 is allocated for public health.
Dr. De Guzman disclosed that aside from the enhancement of infrastructure and health facilities, the Espino administration has fully implemented one special project through the Point-of-Care (POC) program wherein a total of 25,679 poor families have been enrolled since March 2014 to June this year.
The POC, which is under the ambit of Universal Health Care, has been designed to further strengthen the “No Balance Billing Policy” and “No Payout from the Pocket” in government hospitals.
The total budget allocated by the provincial government per year sums up to P60 million while the actual premium paid went to as high as P61,629,600, the PHO chief stressed.
Dr. De Guzman, on the other hand, reported on the rapid coverage assessment wherein she revealed that 325,876 children were given oral polio immunization while some 288,118 children were administered with measles immunization.
With this, she said that Pangasinan has not recorded a single polio case to this date as she further stated that for the third year now, the province has no record on malaria disease making it an inch closer to being included as among the malaria-free provinces in the entire country by January 2016.
Meanwhile, Dr. Myrna C. Cabotaje, Director IV of DOH Regional Office I, commended the administration of Gov. Espino as she noted that based on gathered report regarding facility-based deliveries, Pangasinan scored 89 percent in 2013 and 92 percent in 2014 while the national target is rated at 90 percent.
On the other hand, Cabotaje reported that while the national target for the year 2016 on deliveries attended by skilled birth attendants is 90 percent, Pangasinan reached 96 percent and 97 percent for the year 2013 and 2014, respectively.
During the event, the provincial government recognized various LGUs and Inter-Local Health Zones (ILHZs) for their outstanding contributions on health program based on various health thrusts set by the present administration.
The five Best Performing LGU Municipality in Public Health Implementation are as follows: Infanta (Champion), Alcala (1st runner-up), Pozorrubio (2nd runner-up), Balungao (3rd runner-up), and Sual (4th runner-up).
Other LGUs were awarded with the following special citations: Basista LGU -Most Outstanding LGU for Eradicating Extreme Poverty and Hunger; Laoac LGU-Most Outstanding in Reducing Child Mortality; Urbiztondo LGU-Best Performing on Measles Rubella Oral Polio Vaccine Mass Immunization, Burgos LGU- Effective Implementation of Maternal Health Programs.
Three most outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholars were likewise recognized. They are: Rowena Dela Cruz (Brgy. Osmena Sr., Basista)-1st place; Beverly Godoy (Brgy. Alipangpang, Pozorrubio)-2nd place; Shirley D. Bonode (Brgy. Calzada, Mabini)-3rd place.
Special awards were given to the following BNS: Jojet Frances Dawanan (Brgy. Salasa, Bugallon), Sany Visperas (Brgy. Libsong, Lingayen), Elma Quillope (Brgy. Malayo, Urbiztondo), Chona Caragay (Brgy. Caviernesan, Mangatarem).
For the ILHZs the following are the best performing: Western Pangasinan District Hospital ILHZ (Champion), Urdaneta District Hospital ILHZ (1st runner-up), Bayambang District Hospital ILHZ (2nd runner-up).
Eastern Pangasinan District Hospital ILHZ also received a special recognition as Most Improved in Public Health Program Implementation.
Vice Governor Jose Ferdinand Calimlim, Jr., and LIGA ng mga Barangay president Amado “Pogi” I. Espino led the awarding ceremony with Dr. Cabotaje and DILG Provincial Dir. Reggie Colisao. (Ruby R. Bernardino)