AT LEAST 10 local government units in Eastern Visayas joined the 18-month Municipal Leadership and Governance Program (MLGP) of the Department of Health (DOH) where mayors and municipal doctors learn and work to transform local health programs.
The DOH began on August 3 the first of the three modules of MLGP for the sixth batch of mayors and local health officers in Eastern Visayas to undergo the leadership program.
“Our goal is that at least 50 percent of mayors in the region will be involved in the program because I do believe when you are a graduate of MLGP, you become a health agent for change,” said DOH Regional Director Minerva Molon.
At present, Eastern Visayas has 44 MLGP graduates. Twelve more areas joined the fifth batch last June, said the DOH. The region has 143 cities and towns in six provinces.
MLGP is a one-year leadership program for local chief executives and municipal health officers that is supplemented by coaching and mentoring sessions from the DOH development management officer during the practicum.
It aims to develop and transform local officials to become bridging leaders and to create an immediate impact on achieving the sustainable development goals by improving the local health systems of their municipalities.
The program requires the participants to complete the four-day module 1 sessions, six-month practicum, four-day module 2 sessions and 12-month practicum before they can graduate.
Joining the latest batch are mayors and local health officials of Barugo, Pastrana, Tabontabon, Julita, Jaro, and Mahaplag in Leyte; Culaba, Biliran; San Isidro, Northern Samar; Dolores and Oras, Eastern Samar.
“This program will help us implement our local health agenda and improve the delivery of health services. Despite limited budget, we can always think out of the box to achieve health targets,” said Tabontabon Mayor Rustico Balderian.
Tabontabon, with a population of 12,000, gets an annual budget of P47 million from the National Government. About 10 percent goes to health programs.
Launched in 2013, MLGP aims to foster transformative changes to local health leaders for better health outcomes of their respective towns. This is in support of the Millennium Development Goals, by applying the knowledge and skills gained in two health leadership modules.
The program is a joint undertaking of the DOH, Zuellig Family Foundation, and University of the Philippines-Manila. (PNA)