CANDON CITY, Ilocos Sur—City Mayor Ericson Singson and eight other local chief executives graduated from Municipal Leadership and Governance Program after receiving their certificates and plaques during their commencement rites held at Oasis Country Resort and Hotel, San Fernando City, La Union.
The other chief executives from Ilocos Sur who completed the training were Mar Ruel Sumabat (Alilem), Ferdinand Quiton (Sugpon), Clifford Patil-ao (Quirino), Luz Villalobos (Gregorio Del Pilar) and Mark Purisima ( San Ildefonso).
The other three from Region 1 were Laoac (Pangasinan) Mayor Silverio Alarcio, Jr., Basista (Pangasinan) Mayor Manolito De Leon and town mayor Divina Velasco of San Gabriel, La Union.
Others who graduated the two-week’s training are the mayors’ respective Rural Health Officers.
The training program was basically centered on two separate week-long training-workshop with the participants ably coached by DOH- Representative with May Bernardine Belardo handling Candon City.
The MLGP is a joint undertaking of the Department of Health- Regional Field Office- I and Zuellig Family Foundation.
“It is worth all the efforts because the know how I acquired were applied and guiding pointers in my governance,” Singson said.
Singson admitted that he had some hesitations in joining the MLGP because it was for municipalities but his craving for learning and belief that it will be beneficiary to his people eventually led him to join.
Singson said that his training led him realized some health services gaps and challenges needed to be resolve.
Among them is the allocation of funds.
City health budget was only seven percent of the total City Budget when he took over in 2013 which is far cry from the 15 percent targeted budget allocation.
Another is the health service delivery particularly on the pre-natal and post natal services, and fully immunized child.
Also is the system of Barangay Health Worker recruitment and retention mechanism.
Singson said that applying what he had learned, his own inputs, and contributions from health stakeholders, the city government were able to gain major headways in the city health department.
Under the Leadership and Governance, Singson issued the Executive Order for the expansion of Local Health Board (LHB) members including all City Department Heads and other NGO partners.
Another E.O. issued was for the creation of Barangay Health Board for the 42 barangays.
He also pushed for the conduct of Barangay Health Leadership Health Plans of all 42 barangays.
The City Mayor also showed that budget is not a problem to response to health services needs by increasing health financial allotment to 16.8 percent of the whole city budget this year and is expected to be even bigger in the 2016 budget.
Meanwhile at least five percent of Barangay IRA is allocated to Health.
Singson also allotted P3 million for waste Management Program, P500, 000 CDF for HIV AIDS, P300, 000 for the completion of Villarica BHS, Villarica, Candon City.
In the health human resource, he signed MOA for the City Government and Barangay regarding BHW Recruitment and Retention Mechanism.
He also ordered the hiring of pharmacist to man Botika ng Barangay.
The Barangay Nutrition Scholar honorarium was to P1, 000.
In the information system, Singson asked the formation of the Maternal/infant Death Review Committee and updated monthly health data board.
Singson in his commitment to ensure more efficient service delivery, he funded the construction of three new Barangay Health Stations.
Among the immediate impact was the pre-natal services target was met.
Singson said that the health services in Candon leveled up after the MLGP application.
Among the biggest indicator is the City Health Technical roadmap for the first quarter of 2015 showing that all indicators but one were already satisfied.
He himself admitted that his gained insights and knowledge from the training program made him better.
“I am now a bridging leader.” Singson quoting his closing line in his presentation during the colloquium.
Incidentally it is one of the main goals of the training program.