The Provincial Government of La Union, together with two of its municipalities and the PHAPCares Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP), has inked an agreement to facilitate and fast track the implementation of Universal Healthcare in the province.
The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was signed by La Union Governor Raphaelle Veronica Ortega-David, Bauang Mayor Eulogio Clarence Martin De Guzman III, San Juan Mayor Arturo Valdriz, PHAPCares President Lotis Ramin, and PHAPCares Executive Director Dr. Maria Rosarita Siasoco.
Ortega-David underscored that health is a priority in her administration. She also welcomed the partnership with the PHAPCares Foundation as one of the ways to improve the health and well-being of the people in the province.
“We commend the Provincial Government of La Union for prioritizing the health of its constituents, aligned with its vision of bringing sustainable and inclusive development that improves the quality of life of its people. PHAPCares is constantly committed in further improving healthcare access together with like-minded collaborators both in the public and private sector,” said Ramin, who is also Country President of AstraZeneca Philippines.
History of partnerships
The PHAPCares Foundation has a long history of partnerships and programs seeking to establish healthy and resilient communities within the UHC framework. From 2015, the Foundation has reached 5,000 families, and served 25,000 individuals in its medical outreach activities in several communities, including La Union. It has trained around 639 responders under the Earthquake and Landslide Search and Rescue Orientation Course (ELSAROC) with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA). Since 2003, the PHAPCares has also donated medicines worth over P1 billion for use in institutions and communities affected by health emergencies and disasters.
Under the MOA, the La Union Provincial Government and the municipalities of Bauang and San Juan will ensure the sustainability of health services by supporting the program. They also committed to provide support staff and logistics during the conduct of health advocacies as well as the training on ELSAROC.
The LGUs will also provide support during the conduct of the medical outreach in the sites, and in the oral health initiatives for kindergarten pupils in schools in the participating barangays.
For their part, PHAPCares will provide the expertise to support the health advocacy on HIV, WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene), and oral health and other disease in the LGU sites. PHAPCares will also help train community health volunteers and provide the necessary materials to support the barangay health workers.
Additionally, PHAPCares will undertake the monitoring and the evaluation of the performance of the LGUs in the implementation of its sustainable healthcare and social development projects under the program. The organization will also assist in the capacity building in LGU sites as well as provide assistance to participating barangay health stations.
“Now is the time to fully roll out the Universal Health Care Act, so that no one will be left behind when it comes to health. We are here to augment the resources of the LGUs as they make the leap to improving the health outcomes of residents living in the province,” said Dr. Maria Rosarita Siasoco, PHAPCares Executive Director.
Earlier, the La Union Provincial Health Office and PHAPCares provided crucial health services to select communities within the province amid extreme weather disturbances brought about by the southwest monsoon in August. Residents from two barangays that are considered Geographically Isolated Disadvantaged Areas (GIDA) in Bauang Municipality, received doctor consultations, laboratory tests, and minor surgeries right within their communities.
“We are very glad that we have formed a partnership with the PHAPCares Foundation. It is not easy for the residents in these remote barangays to go to the town for their medical needs. The Foundation brought with them several medicines for use of the people. To us, it is simple. If the effects of Universal Healthcare is felt by the constituents such as the farmers and fisherfolks, then we can say it is a success,” La Union Provincial Health Office Head Dr. Ed Posadas said.