We asked Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago B. Cane Jr. and his provincial health officer, Dr. Jacqueline Momville about the province’s current status in terms of building its health care provider network, its homegrown health care information system, and how the they are pooling their budget for the implementation of the Universal Health Care.

Title: Agusan del Sur | Health care provider network
Host: Dr. Catherine Chung, ZFF Portfolio Director

Languages: English, Filipino

Length: 53.95 minutes


Dr. Cathy: Hi. This is Dr. Catherine Chung, ZFF director for the Local Health System and with us today, are Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago B. Cane Jr. and his provincial health officer, Dr. Jacqueline Momville. Good afternoon, Gov. Cane and Dr. Jackie. Kumusta po kayo?

Gov. Cane: Okay lang naman, Dr. Catherine.

Dr. Cathy: Our topic for today is relevant to the goal of Universal Health Care Law. So, alam naman natin na na-implement siya since 2019. And in particular, we will talk about how to set up a health care provider network, which is mandated by the law. The UHC law defines a health care provider network as a group of primary to tertiary health care providers–so, from the rural health unit up to the hospitals–offering people-centered and comprehensive care in an integrated and coordinated manner. The Department of Health has set the standards and guidelines for the formation of health care provider network. But, what does the process look like in practice? Dr. Jackie, if you do away with the technical terms, how would you describe to me what a health care provider network is?

Dr. Jackie: I think the health care provider network is like a family taking care of a child, a very precious child, that we need to have a very good working relationship so that we can take care of this child. So, when we are family, we mean that we don’t leave anyone behind. We ensure that in our family of health care provider network, everyone is capable; everyone is knowledgeable; and everyone is compassionate and passionate about what we are doing in taking care of the people.

Dr. Cathy: Thank you, Dr. Jackie. In terms of building a health care provider network, nasaan na ba ‘yong Agusan del Sur ngayon?

Dr. Jackie: We are right now in strengthening our inter-local health zone and actually we ensure that the stakeholders within the inter-local health zone has good working relationships and that they are supportive with one another. We are hoping to amalgamate this inter-local health zone into one big province-wide health care provider network. To add to that, what we are trying to also to do is to deepen the trusting relationship and the working relationship because as we all know, we have health workers in the hospital and we have health workers in the public side. There are differences in perspective. With the differences in perspective, comes sometimes conflict and misunderstanding, so that is why we are endeavoring really to have this activities or avenues where they could strengthen their bond and makuha nila ‘yong loob ng isa’t isa and to understand the experience in the context of each side so far.

Dr. Cathy: Let’s drill down to that. In terms of the inter-local health zones that you have mentioned, can you please discuss further ‘yong specifics nito in terms of its functionality and the different requirements according to Department of Health? In terms of establishment of health care provider network, Dr. Jackie?

Dr. Jackie: Agusan del Sur has four inter-local health zone. So, this inter-local health zone is a clustered group of municipalities and in the clustered group of municipalities, there are around maybe three to five municipalities and in every inter-local health zone, we have a hospital. So, the hospital serves as the vice-chairman while one of the mayors serves as the chairman and with that, they meet at least once every six months, or if we could push further quarterly, in order to discuss the prevailing health realities of the inter-local health zone. So, in that inter-local health zone, since we have rural health units and we have hospitals. We are also capacitating them in such a way that as much as they could, they could take care of the people within their inter-local health zone before actually sending them to our core referral hospital in the province and aside from that, the team of health workers in the inter-local health zone, we have these agreements. So far, in the last three years, we have active inter-local health zone. Three of these inter-local health zones are active while one still needs to be assisted to be more active in meeting and discussing stuff for the health of the people.

For the three inter-local health zone that are really active, actually the municipalities provide funding. They pool a fund in order too ensure that the people in the inter-local health zone have access to maybe out-patient care in the hospital or if they need medicines that is in the out-patient basis or when it’s in the in-patient, they are also being assisted. So, this one is pooled in the hospital and the hospitals give feedback to the inter-local health zone meeting every time that there is a meeting, and also, in the inter-local health zone meeting, we discuss statistics; how they are doing and discuss priorities in terms of public health services and even how we can set the hospital services to cater to the needs of the people.

Dr. Cathy: Ang dami ng naging initiative ng Agusan del Sur. Na-mention mo, Dr. Jackie, mayroon ka pa rin medyo hindi functional na inter-local health zone, baka pwede mong mabanggit ‘yong challenges doon?

 Dr. Jackie: I think there are two major factors: number one is the leadership of the chairman which is one of the local chief executives; and second is the partnership being provided by the hospital who is the vice-chairman. These two will really stir the direction of the meetings. It is really important that there is a feedback mechanism between the municipalities and the hospitals because we know that the patients admitted in the hospital reflects the state of health of these municipalities. But I have big hope na this will be functional in the next three years.

Dr. Cathy: So, ibig sabihin ‘yong ibang inter-local health zone sa Agusan del Sur in terms of its licensing of the facilities, ‘yong mga primary care facilities, okay na sila lahat doon, Dr. Jackie? And ‘yong in terms of health workers’ capacities and competencies, syempre ‘yong ratio din nila, ‘yong quality nila sa isang inter-local health zone nasa standard na ba ng hinahanap ng batas natin sa UHC and its implementation of the health care provider network, or in the preparation to the implementation of a functional health care provider network?

Dr. Jackie: Actually, we are in the stage of assessment. So, we had a province-wide baseline assessment of the human resource for health and we already have that data and also, we had a baseline assessment of all barangay health stations in the rural health unit. We are still working gon for the accreditation to be a primary care health facility, and since we already have assessment, we included it in the local investment planning for health so that in the near future, we can implement that, and on the pipeline actually is there are also included rural health units to be super rural health units by next year.

Dr. Cathy: Wow, super rural health units, Dr. Jackie. Before I go to the Gov., ang alam ko mayroong homegrown information system ang Agusan del sur, Dr. Jackie? Pwede mo ba ma-share sa amin iyan?

Dr. Jackie: Actually, we have this very ambitious plan. For the first phase of this big plan, we are fixing the information system in our hospitals because we would like an information system that captures essential information that is cutting across the board as recommended by the Department of Health and also, to capture information that is unique to our province. So far, for the health information system for the hospital, three out of the five hospitals have implemented it and we are going towards two more and then, we are working on for the part of the public health information system. The provincial health office is also boosting our health information system within the office. In fact, we have monitoring and evaluation team, composed of three members. Three years ago, wala siya and it was just erected just before the pandemic. So, very lucky. Iyan ‘yong mga information system and I think, one of the most successful information system is our COVID testing information system wherein the people who would like to be get tested can input their data online so that they will be scheduled for testing and upon the receipt of their specimen, their results will be released in less than 24 hours. And the fastest we could is actually four hours, released through text message. We have also connected with the rural health units because there are people here who doesn’t have contact numbers and email. So, the rural health unit has also the access to the specimen that they sent to us to help those people who doesn’t have contacts. So far, that’s for the health information system.

Dr. Cathy: Wow. Big accomplishments from the Agusan del Sur team.

Dr. Jackie: If I may add, Dr. Cathy, in the health information system, it’s also important that we have a hardware. We have ensured our hardware at the level of the provincial health office and hospitals and hopefully, across the board in our rural health units. And also, we will be venturing and ensuring and capacitating our workers to be computer literate.

Dr. Cathy: Hopefully, ‘yong Agusan del Sur ay isa sa models na mayroong integrated health information health system toward a functional, province-wide health system kasi importante ‘yong information health system in terms of planning and lalo na ‘yong database pag lalabas na ‘yong PhilHealth reports, ‘yong financing part naman ng ating health care provider network, doon din manggagaling ‘yong mga gagastusin ng ating mga primary care provider networks and the primary care facilities in terms of other logistics, purchase of medicines and support to incentives and health human resources.

Dr. Cathy: Ngayon, dahil nandito ang ating dashing Gov., na binigyan tayo ng time for this session. Gov., I want to ask you. I know implementing the law requires resources and given the responses from Dr. Jackie, mayroon nang mga municipalities na talagang nag-allot and nag-share ng kanilang national tax allocation to health para ma-pool in terms of the inter-local health zone funding. How did you get the budget support naman to start setting up the health care provider network in the province aside doon sa nabanggit ni Dr. Jackie?

Gov. Cane: In terms of the the budget na gagamitin natin for the provision of the medical health sa mga tao dito sa probinsya ng Agusan del Sur, I’ll start muna with the provincial level. Dito sa probinsya namin for the current year 2022, ang budget namin dito for the entire year is 3.5 billion sa annual budget. Now, 32% of that 3.5 billion is appropriated for health care services, kasama na dito ang pag-operate ng ating limang hospitals sa probinsya at saka ang mga pangangailangan ng provincial health office, lahat-lahat na.

Sa mga munisipyo naman and the lone city of Bayugan, mayroon din po silang budget kasi it is a requirement in the formulation of your budget. Kailangan mayroon din sa health services. Although, I am not very certain about the exact amount that they have appropriated in the respective local government units, but in my talks with the component municipal and city mayors, I have emphasized to them that it is very, very important to appropriate an amount doon sa annual budget nila kasi component na po iyan.

Now, sa mga mayors naman namin dito ay wala naman pong problema sa pakikipag-coordinate and pakikipag-collaborate sa kanilaHindi lang sa aspeto ng kalusugan, kung hindi sa lahat ng aspeto. I have emphasized with my component municipal and city mayors that we, elected officials have this power and this is the power to serve the very people who put us where we are. Kaya ‘yong health care services is a very, very important component in our public service. So, nilalagyan talaga namin ng sapat na pondo para sa panahon ng pangangailangan lalung-lalo na sa mga local levels, sa munisipyo at saka sa city at even sa barangay level ay may pondong magamit nila to implement our medical programs, preventive medicine ika ngaKami naman sa province, pag kinukulang ‘yong budget nila, ang role po ng province is to augment what they lack at their level. Kaya maganda ‘yong collaboration namin between the municipal, the city and even the barangay levels at saka ‘yong provincial level. Kaya in the province of Agusan del Sur, Dr. Cathy, the municipal mayors, the city and municipal health officers are included, kasama po namin sila sa provincial health board. So, during our meetings ay kasama sila sa mga usaping pangkalusugan, kaya madali kaming nagkakaintindihan dito kasi nga we belong to one province. We have the same constituents at iyon ang pledge namin sa mga taong-bayan, that we will work for them. Kaya there is symbiosis. Nagtutulungan kami dito. That’s why hindi lang pareho ang level of appropriations na intended for health services, but lahat po ng component from the barangay level, municipal, city and provincial level mayroon po kaming budget para diyan.

Dr. Cathy: Ang swerte ng Agusan del sur. Hindi lahat ganito ‘yong nangyayari sa iba’t ibang probinsya lalo na makuha mo ‘yong 100% cooperation and commitment of the municipalities down to the barangays and si Gov. lalo na ‘yong support niya to really provide 32.5% of the budget or the NPA, the National Plot Allocation ng probinsya ng Agusan del Sur to health programs. Kitang-kita ‘yong priority ni Gov. ang health talaga.

Dr Cathy: And that brings us to the end of this episode, but we still have two more episodes on the health care provider network with Gov. Cane and Dr. Jackie. So, don’t miss them. Wishing all of you good health. Thank you for listening.

Title: Agusan del Sur | Health care provider network (Part 2 of 3)

Description: Get tips in engaging mayors and the private sector from Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago B. Cane Jr. and his provincial health officer, Dr. Jacqueline Momville.


Dr Cathy:  Hi. This is Dr. Catherine Chung, ZFF director for the Local Health System. Welcome to the second part of our three-part episode on the health care provider network with Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago B. Cane Jr. and his provincial health officer, Dr. Jacqueline Momville. Let’s pick up where we left off.

Doc Cathy: Governor baka mayroon ka pang ibang tips sa ating mga listeners kung paano ma-fully get ‘yong cooperation at makuha ‘yong collaboration ng mga municipalities ng mga mayors lalo na ngayon UHC na, province-wide health system. ‘Yong Gov. na talaga ‘yong chairman of the provincial health board and mag-lead nito sa mga susunod na taon at simula na ngayon. Gov., may mga tips ka pa ba?

Gov. Cane: That’s right, Dr. Cathy. As a matter of fact, mayroon na kaming provincial health board meeting. If I’m not mistaken, it will be this coming October 4, wherein we will further discuss the Universal Health Care law. At bago mangyari ‘yong provincial health board meeting namin, I asked our provincial health officer, Dr. Jackie Momville to gather all our health officers in the entire province, kasama na ‘yong mga doctor to the barrios program na na-assign in the different municipalities and city at saka ‘yong mga chiefs of hospital. Pag-uusapan ang plano namin on how we can more effectively implement the Universal Health Care para mas lalo pang mag-benefit ‘yong mga tao na nangangailangan ng health care dito sa probinsya ng Agusan del Sur. So, if it is not too much of an asking, Dr. Cathy, we would like to invite you into that gathering para makapag-contribute ka rin ng mga brilliant ideas mo on how to further improve the delivery of health care services at hindi lang sa mga MHOs, hindi lang sa aming mga chiefs of hospitals, kasama rin namin dito ‘yong mga barangay health workers. Dr. Cathy, kasi nga po the barangay health workers are our front liners in the delivery of our health services. Kaya ang masasabi ko lang po dito sa Agusan del Sur ay hindi natin pwede balewalin ‘yong role ng mga barangay health workers. They are very, very important. Their role is just as important as any doctor assigned in the province.

Ang ginawa namin dito sa Agusan del Sur since early 2000, gumawa kami ng isang ordinansa na nagbibigay ng libre paeskwela doon sa mga eestudyante namin dito na taga-Agusan del Sur na gusto maging doctor katulad ninyoLalo na ‘yong mga interested young students who would like to dream to becoming medical professionals like you, pero hindi kaya ng mga magulang nila na paaralin sila because of financial constraints. So, we came up with an ordinance, providing for a full medical scholarship program and from then on, after four years, five years of the scholarship program and every year thereafter ay mayroon po kaming mga graduates sa medicine at pumasa po–100% po ‘yong mga graduates namin ay pumasa po talaga sila sa physician licensure examination. Wala pa pong bumagsak sa awa ng Diyos because hindi po biro itong scholarship na ito. Wala pong pulitika. Pag may isang politician na nag-recommend ng isang constituent niya na papasukin namin sa medical scholarship ay hindi po namin tinatanggap iyan, lahat ng applicants have to undergo the screening process which include interview, written examination at higit sa lahat ay ini-examine namin ‘yong applicant bago sila maging medical scholar ay talagang may puso na magsilbi sa Agusan del Sur. Kasi nga in that scholarship program, kasama po diyan ang walong taon na return service dito sa Agusan del Sur. Kaya sa ngayon, Dr. Cathy, more than 80% of our doctors working in our hospitals and in other municipalities and city are already products of our medical scholarship program. That is the only way na maiwasan natin na magkaroon tayo ng shortage of doctors at saka nurses dinMayroon din kasi nga, in early 2000, there was an exodus of medical doctors, medical workers. ‘Yong mga doctor nag-enrol sa nursing taposnag-abroad kaya sumakit ang ulo namin doonKasi matagal na ako dito sa Agusan del Sur nag-serve, since 1998, at na-experience namin ‘yong shortage of doctors and nurses at that time, early 2000. Kaya we came up with this scholarship program and it is ongoing already. Every year mayroon kaming graduates and every year may pumapasa sa licensure examination at every year din kung may mga bakanteng position for medical officers ay tinatanggap namin sila dito and we provide them with the right salary, intended for medical officers.

Dr. Cathy: Ang ganda ng inyong naging strategy in terms of the shortage of health human resources in year 2000. And alam natin, noong nagka-COVID lalong naging challenge iyan sa mga probinsya and ang maganda dito talagang na-sustain siya. From 2000 hanggang ngayon may mga napro-produce na mga doctors and, sabi ninyo nga, may nurses paAng pinakamaganda doon sa program na iyon, sabi ninyo nga ay 80% ng inyong health human resource ay from the scholarship. So, napakaganda ma-replicate ito at marinig ng ibang mga Gov.s. Baka pwede rin nilang gayahin kasi sa iba’t ibang lugar sa Pilipinas isa ‘yong health human resources na challenge. Lalo ngayon sa Universal Health Care, isa iyan sa napakalaking requirements in terms of the restructuring ng ating probinsya to really achieve ‘yong goal ng UHC sa atin in the next 10 years. Nabanggit din ni Gov. kanina, everyone is involved sa Agusan del Sur from the barangay health workers up to the municipalities, to the mayors, municipal health officers. Dine-date daw niya at talagang gina-gather.

Gov. Cane: At the height of COVID nga pala, because you were mentioning about the pandemic. Nag-hire po ako ng 32 additional nurses para sa mga hospitals namin at saka sa mga isolation facilities kasi nga kahit na marami na kaming mga nurses, dumami din po ‘yong mga cases ng COVID. Napuno ‘yong mga hospitals namin, kaya si Dr. Jackie mangiyak-ngiyak na dahil kinukulang ‘yong mga nurses niya at I fully understood her sentiment. So, nag-emergency hiring po kami ng 32 additional nurses, med techs, even ‘yong mga doctors may field of specialization. Wala pong hiningi si Dr. Jackie para sa hospital at saka sa provincial health office na hindi namin ibinigayKasi nga we fully understood the predicament of the good Dr. Jackie. Ginagawa niya ito para sa health ng mga tao. So, paano mo naman sasabihin na “No”?

Dr. Jackie: Totoo po iyan na during the pandemic, I really saw Gov. Cane leading the whole province. And to realign budget for health and hindi lang sa human resource, but in the aspects of medicines, everything that we need, and testing and all. To the point na we need to allocate also budget for the food and the people, just to make sure that we can surmount itong pandemic. What’s really amazing is kaya naman pala. Basta ‘yong akin lang nakita is Gov. really listens to the cry of the health sector during those times and even beyond until now. Kaya palang mag-amass ng ganoong budget just to make sure that we can survive beyond the pandemic so, here we are, doing our podcast. Na-survive namin iyon.

Gov. Cane: May gusto lang akong idagdag Dr. Cathy. Dito sa probinsya namin, ako, being the Gov. at saka ‘yong mga doctors, nurses and other medical workers natin, I see to it that the lines of communication are always open between and among us. Very important po iyon kasi kapag gobernador ka at mahirap kang hagilapin, mahirap kang kausapin, kanino sila magsusumbong sa mga problema? So, hindi naman kayang makuha ng isang gobernador kung ano ang mga problema sa mga ospital and other health offices kung hindi ka open sa communication, kaya kami ni Dr. Jackie mayroon kaming group chat at every day halos may mga bago information, doon namin pinag-uusapan ‘yong hindi namin napag-usapan when we’re physically meeting with each other or among us. Tinatapos namin sa mga group chat namin, kaya doon ko malalaman kung anu-ano ang mga problema ng mga doctors sa kanilang mga areas of responsibility. Kaya doon sa social media, sa Facebook, doon pino-post namin kung ano ‘yong mga nararamdaman namin; ano ang mga pagkukulang; ano ang dapat gawin. Kaya ‘yong lines of communication very open and that is one of the most important component in succeeding your plans, not only for health, but for everything connected with public service.

Dr. Cathy: Ang dami natin ng nakuha kina Gov. and Dr. Jackie. Siguro kung i-summarize ko ‘yong ating discussions: una, everyone is involved and informed–from the barangay health workers up to the province; second, ‘yong importance ng open communication kasi kung hindi nga sila informed sa nangyayari, paano nila maiintindihan ‘yong mga bagay-bagay lalo na sa health program implementation.

Siguro ‘yong next ko na question: Alam ko marami rin tayong mga private sectors na tumutulong sa Agusan del Sur, Gov. Baka pwede mo kaming kuwentuhan kung paano mo na-build ‘yong partnerships mo with the private sector naman, Gov.?

Gov. Cane: Ganito iyon, Dr. Cathy, when I first assumed as governor in 2019, siguro less than two weeks pa ako when I first assumed ay inimibitahan na po ako ng Zuellig Family Foundation sa isang napakahalagang meeting. At doon ko po nakuha ‘yong importance of collaboration and working with other organizations. Dahil in-introduce nga sa akin ng Zuellig Family Foundation, I had the chance of meeting with the LCFs doon sa meeting na iyon. At napakaganda ng resulta noon kasi it gave the province the opportunity to ask for some assistance from this LCFs or –

Dr. Cathy: The League of Corporate Foundations, Gov.

Gov. Cane: Yes, League of Corporate Foundations. At marami kaming natatanggap na biyaya mula sa kanila. So, importante pala na kapag marunong kang mag-reach out at masabi mo kung ano ang mga pagkukulang, may mga corporate foundations na maawain, katulad ng Zuellig at saka ng iba pa. Mention ko lang talaga ang ZFF kasi during the height of the pandemic, nagpagawa po kami ng molecular laboratory at ang Zuellig Family Foundation naman ang nag-donate ng RT-PCR machine. Saan ka pa diyan? Kung wala kaming connection doon sa ZFF or sa ibang mga corporate foundations, baka kami mismo ang bumili ng RT-PCR machine. Mahal pa naman iyon. So, this is not to expand the heart or the ego of ZFF, pero iyon ang totoo. Maraming naitulong ang ZFF sa amin, not only in terms of medical instruments, kung hindi even sa capability-building. At dahil sa Zuellig Family Foundation, naka-experience ako ng deep dive. Ang sarap to immerse with your people in the lowland or in the community or in the different communities. Doon ko na-realize na ibang klase talaga kapag naka-experience ka to be with your people who are in need of government intervention.

Dr. Cathy: Yes, Gov. Baka si Dr. Jackie may gusto idagdag.

Dr. Jackie: To add to that, majority naman na-mention ni Gov. I think, Agusan del Sur has a very good track record of delivering their commitment with the partners. Ang pinakaimportante din kasi when we deal with our private partners, we also communicate ‘yong pangangailangan talaga ng probinsya. Because it is really important na magtugma ‘yong pangangailangan ng probinsya at ‘yong kayang ibigay din ng private sector. To add to the other partners, aside from Zuellig Family Foundation and League of Corporate Foundations, we are also partners with World Health Organization and also, AmeriCares. So, what’s amazing is nakakatuwa dahil itong mga different partners namin sa health will really make an effort kahit saang munisipyo sila papasok. They really made an effort to have a courtesy with appearance and collaborative, exploratory talk with the province and meet our Gov. and meet me as the provincial health officer. With this, with the League Corporate Foundations na adopting an inter-local health zone, that is composed of three municipalities; while World Health Organization adopted one inter-local health zone naman, which is ‘yong I was mentioning, ‘yong inter-local health zone that still needs to be strengthened. And another partner, ‘yong AmeriCares going to the farthest municipality. And for other partners, mayroon kaming partners sa mga ibang aspeto to improve the social determinants of health. Iyon lang po.

Dr. Cathy: Ang dami na palang private sector rin na pumapasok sa Agusan del Sur. Siguro sa segment na ito bago tayo mag-proceed doon sa next questions, para lang mas marinig at makapag-share or mabigyan ng tips ‘yong ating mga listeners, Gov. Sabi mo kasi ‘yong mga mayors, ‘yong municipalities hanggang barangays ay talagang nagko-collaborate at talagang as one kayo na gumagalaw in terms of health programs, or sa pag-implement ng health programs. Ano ba or paano mo ba nakuha ‘yong mga kiliti nila, ‘yong talagang makipag-cooperate sa iyo as a Gov.?

 Gov. Cane: The first and the most important tip is show yourself as an example to them. Bihira mo akong makita ma-late sa isang appointment. I always emphasize to all the mayors kung kasama ang mga mayors na the reason why we are in public service is due to the trust and confidence in our people and we should not destroy that trust and confidence. Kaya totohanin natin lahat ng mga ginagawa natin. Isasapuso ang lahat ng mga ginagawa natin dito because not everybody is given the opportunity to win in the election. Lagi kong sinasabi sa kanila, “if you want na tatagal ka sa public service as an elected official, you have to walk your talk.” Nagkataon lang, Dr. Cathy, kami dito sa Agusan del Sur from the provincial level, city, municipal level–we belong to the same party. Kaya madali kaming magkaintindihan kasi walang iringan dito sa pulitika, maliban lang kung may election, pero after the election, we forget about politics.

Dr. Cathy: Ramdam ng mga kasama mong mayors at barangay, kaya siguro sabi nila, “join na lang tayo.

Governor, having gone this far with all your innovative solutions, we want to know what are the province’s next step pa to achieve a fully functional health care provider network sa inyong probinsya? Syempre, with the partnership with the private sector kasi ‘yong iba talagang kailangan ng ating mga private sector. And when do you see this happening, Gov.?

Gov. Cane: Actually, sa preparatory level, we’re done more than, 100% already. Sa organizational, nakasama na po ito sa aming BTP, that is on-going already, the transition plan. ‘Yong functionality, I hope this will be fully functional before the end of my second term. In Shala. Hopefully. Pero confident ako na baka makukuha namin ito because we have close cooperation. We have coordination with our local chief executives in the lower levels, plus our provincial health office is closely working with everybody else towards this. So, sana lalo na kung hindi kami papabayaan ng ZFF, baka nga fully functional kami by 2025, hopefully. We’re praying for that. We will work on that, of course.

Dr. Cathy: So, hopefully by 2025, functional na ‘yong ating mga health care provider networks, depende kung ilan ‘yong naplano ng ating provincial health officer and the province in general

Dr Cathy: And that’s it for part two of our three-part episode with Gov. Cane and Dr. Jackie. Don’t miss the important lessons that they will share in the last part. Wishing all of you good health. Thank you for listening.

Title: Agusan del Sur | Health care provider network (Part 3 of 3)

Description: Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago B. Cane Jr. and his provincial health officer, Dr. Jacqueline Momville shared the importance of health promotion and other lessons in the implementation of Universal Health Care.


Dr Cathy:  Hi. This is Dr. Catherine Chung, ZFF director for the Local Health System. Welcome to the last part of our three-part episode on the health care provider network with Agusan del Sur Gov. Santiago B. Cane Jr. and his provincial health officer, Dr. Jacqueline Momville. Get ready and take note of the tips and learnings that they will share today. So let’s begin.

Dr. Cathy: Dr. Jackie, Alam natin na ‘yong Agusan del Sur ay mayroon kayong napakagandang practice in terms of health promotion. Baka pwede mo ma-share ‘yong experience na iyan at kung ano ‘yong mga nagawa ninyo in terms of health promotion. Dr. Jackie?

Dr. Jackie: With regards sa health promotion, before our governor started, wala pa talaga kaming staff. So, when governor entered as our governor, isa sa mga in-open talaga na position even before the pandemic is the health education and promotion officer. Really important din ‘yong investment sa human resource para mapatakbo ‘yong isang programa and after that, itong aming health promotion activities goes beyond our office because we need other expertise. So, the provincial public information office also helped us and the provincial information management office helped us. So, it’s a collaboration of the three offices to push forward the health promotion programs and to reach to the most far-flung areas. Because ‘yong isang office namin is in charge of the TV and radio broadcasting and getting the news from the field and helping us capture any important health promotion materials, capture and toss it into the public. And we have this another office which is really expert in IT staff and helping us capture this information and make it useful to the public. And during the pandemic din, we were able to establish a very good social media platform. So, we have a Facebook page, the provincial health office, and from 30 followers, I think we have now 20,000 followers. Malaking help doon ng buong provincial government for a strategy to share the real news in health. So, isa lang iyan. And we capture stories from the field, and also stories of our leaders para mapaabot sa taong-bayan. We reached out to different partners, schools, other radio stations. Iyan ‘yong mga ginawa namin and itong lahat nagawa namin because our health education promotion officer together with the PHO team really wrote a plan. Nagsimula kami sa assessment and then, sa plan for health education.

Dr. Cathy: Para marinig ng ating mga listeners, gaano ba kaimportante ‘yong health promotion or health literacy in the implementation of UHC sa ating probinsya, Dr. Jackie?

Dr. Jackie: I think, important siya in such a way na we just don’t communicate about how to prevent a disease. We also communicate how we can work together to prevent disease. So, I think iyon ‘yong importance of communicating Universal Health Care sa taong-bayan para maging part din po sila and they will participate in making it a reality. Right now, we are meeting different stakeholders to really communicate the goals and the steps to realize Universal Health Care in the province of Agusan del Sur.

Dr. Cathy: That’s beyond the prevention of a disease, sabi nga ni Dr. Jackie. It is really communicating the entire UHC goals and how other will implement this and how they will help the province put this Universal Health Care into a reality with your help and collaboration. Thank you Dr. Jackie. By the way, mayroon naging policy paper tayo diyan sa Agusan del Sur in terms of their health promotion, intervention and practices sa Agusan del Sur. So, we can try that. Naka-upload na iyan sa site ng ZFF. ‘Yong ating mga listener ay madali lang nila ma-download iyon para ma-adapt din nila. We are also nearing to the end of our program.

Gov. Cane: I forgot one very important thing that may help other local government units in improving health information. Dito sa aming probinsya, sometime January or February this year, we institutionalized the barangay health workers as barangay HEPOs or the health education and promotion officers at the municipal level. Ito kasi mga barangay health workers, they are assigned in the respective barangay. They know the area. They know the people. So, informing their own people anything about health ay mas effective sila kaysa magpadala ka ng isang tao sa isang barangay na hindi naman taga roon, mahirapan pa siya kung saan siya pupunta. Mahirapan siya makipag-usap sa mga tao na hindi niya kilala. But with the barangay health workers being assigned as health education and promotion officers, they become more effective sa mga ganoong paraan. Kaya dito sa Agusan del Sur institutionalized na po iyan.

Dr. Jackie: We also advocate that the barangay captain passed a barangay executive order, or make it a barangay resolution designating the barangay health workers as health education promotion officers in their communities.

Dr. Cathy: Sa ating mga listeners, marami silang makukuha sa mga na-share nina Gov. and Dr. Jackie in terms of health promotion and its importance lalo na na-mobilize ‘yong ating mga barangay health workers as health promotion officers kasi sila ‘yong first touch sa ibaba. So, importante ‘yong ating mga BHWs.

Gov. Cane: First line of defense po natin sila. Kaya nga dito sa Agusan del Sur, for almost two decades already, marami kaming ginawa para din sa kanila for them to benefit from mga programs. Halimbawa, we give them insurance coverage. If they met an accident in line of their duty, or if they die for example, in line of duty, ang pamilya po nila ay may matatanggap po from the insurance, out of this insurance coverage. Pangalawa po, if the barangay health workers decide to retire from public life as BHW, mayroon po silang matatanggap galing sa probinsya na livelihood assistance after retirement. Hindi naman kalakihan, P25,000 upon retirement ay makukuha nila. At least, kung mag-retire man sila, wala na silang honorarium na makukuha from the barangay, from the municipality and from the province, mayroon din silang konting puhunan for their livelihood.

Dr. Cathy: Wow, may incentive pa ‘yong mga BHWs.

Dr. Jackie: In fact, Dr. Cathy, recently lang we just passed an ordinance, increasing their honorarium of the barangay health workers. So, we are reflecting it for our budget next year and to go along side with that, we partnered with World Health Organization to give training to our barangay health workers and in partnership iyon sa isang local NGO here in our province.

Dr. Cathy: Napakarami natin na-discuss at ang dami natin napulot from the Gov. and Dr. Jackie. We are nearing the end of our program today. Can you please share to us your most important learning in the UHC implementation sa inyong probinsya upon the enactment of the law? Since 2019, Gov. or Dr. Jackie?

Dr. Jackie: I think, ‘yong important learning ko is to work closely with your Gov.. We know that sometimes tayong mga career executives, syempre mag-change talaga ‘yong ating local chief executives every three years, but it’s really important that we connect to our Gov. kasi the Gov. was elected by the people out of their confidence. So, I think important iyon na makuha rin natin ‘yong vision ng ating leader and really important on my part that I listen to my leader. So far, basta mayroon wisdom din talaga si gov. mag-share siya. Magsabi lang talaga ako sa kaniya, “yes, gov.” although, at the back of my mind, parang paano kaya ito, pero dahil sinabi ng leader, gagawin. Aside kay gov. mayroon din siguro kaming mga teammates dito, helping us in the provincial government because as PHO, I cannot do it alone. I need Gov.. I need the provincial administrator, the chief of staff, the budget officer, the planning, the accounting. Everybody in the bureaucracy needs to collaborate.

Dr. Cathy: Gov. naman, ang kaniyang most important learning dito sa ating UHC implementation since 2019.

Gov. Cane: Working closely with the provincial health office and vice. dapat two-way iyan. Hindi pwede ‘yong provincial health officer lang ang open line communication with the governor. It should be the governor who must open his line of communication with the provincial health office. Dalawa iyan. Hindi pwede one-way. Now, I learned from 2019 that we need Universal Health Care in our respective government units in order to have a healthy and happy community. If you have a happy and healthy community, that will lead to progress and development because sabi nga ng mga lolo’t lola ko, mama’t papa ko, health is wealth. You want to make your people wealthy, make them healthy first.

Dr. Cathy: ‘Yong isa pang question ko, any other assistance pa na kailangan natin sa government in terms of the UHC implementation?

Gov. Cane: From the national government kamo, Dr. Cathy? Dami pa po. Infrastructure doon sa mga hospitals natin. We really still need the national government, particularly the Department of Health. Kailangan po namin sila kahit na mayroon na kaming devolution transition plan, but then, the funds out of the Mandanas Ruling are not enough sa health at saka sa iba pang mga agencies on government, tulad ng social welfare, lahat-lahat.

Dr. Jackie: To add to that, maybe we also need help and guidance in the human resource for health development and health financing mechanism with regards to PhilHealth reimbursement, how we can be more efficient on that and how can we boost the health financing aspect of financing health care.

Dr. Cathy: Sa mga non-government organizations naman, Gov. and Dr. Jackie, mayroon pa ba kayong mga additional assistance na kailangan?

Gov. Cane: Kailangan-kailangan namin ang tulong ng lahat. I can only assure them, if you will help the province of Agusan del Sur with material or otherwise, aabot ito sa mga tao.

Dr. Cathy: May particular assistance ba na kailangan from the non-government organizations?

Dr. Jackie: Actually, timing, Dr. Cathy, we envision our province in vision of one functional barangay health station in every barangay which include infrastructure, medical equipment, medicines and other medical supplies and of course, a human resource for health. Na-envision namin na if we have this barangay health stations, there must be a midwife or a nurse there and the basic equipment for that. We have around 314 regular barangays, but to include their special barangays, we have 322. We have around initial assessment pa lang ito doc. 275 infrastructure na barangay health station, but still needs to be assessed as to its integrity. So, if we will be able to be partnered with organizations, we will welcome with open arms and everything open to their assistance to us. Ang masisigurado lang namin, sabi nga ni gov. if you will partner with us, in Bisaya, “digmo magmahay.” hindi kayo magsisisi na kami ang partner ninyo dahil ang partnership natin ay magbubunga pa talaga. Maraming salamat.

Dr. Cathy: Well-noted Dr. Jackie and Gov. Cane. Thank you very much for your valuable insights.

And that wraps up our three-part episode on the health care provider network with Gov. Cane and Dr. Jackie. In the next episode, we will hear from the provincial health officer of Aklan. So don’t miss it! Again, this is Doc Cathy, wishing all of you good health. Thank you for listening.