Dao, a picture of BL at work

A 4th class municipality in Capiz, Dao was among the Zuellig Family Foundation’s (ZFF) nine pilot sites for its Health Change Model (HCM) in 2009. Up to date, then-mayor and now vice mayor Joselito “Bo” Escutin still credits much of the municipality’s success to its local government’s partnership with ZFF: “Thanks to ZFF, I learned what governance should be.”

Anchored on the Bridging Leadership (BL) framework, the HCM focuses on building local health leadership and governance capacities to address health inequities. Interventions include training, coaching, and mentoring.

Through the years, Dao recognizes the role of multi-stakeholder engagement toward a strong, stable, and resilient community—demonstrating the ownership, co-ownership, and co-creation cycle of the ZFF program. The local government commits to achieving better health outcomes for its more than 38,000 citizens in 20 barangays without any exceptions.

Proof of its consistent and collective efforts, Dao has received several health awards, including the 2017 Purple Ribbon Award for its reproductive health programs and the 2017 Regional Local Health System Award (first place). The municipality was also awarded the Seal of Good Local Governance by the Department of the Interior and Local Government in 2015, 2017, and 2019.

Vice Mayor Escutin, the then-vice mayor and now Sangguniang Bayan member Loreto Eslaban, and municipal health officer Dr. Humbelyn Horneja were all ZFF awardees for being outstanding Bridging Leaders in Public Health. Their BL skills helped propel not just Dao’s health care system but also its overall economic progress.

A feature video of Dao can be found on the municipality’s Facebook Page: https://fb.watch/91FEfLi7Tu/.