The Department of Health (DOH) presented the Kalusugan Pangkahalatan grand prize award to Valenzuela City for having the best performance in achieving systems-based approach in local health reforms among highly urbanized cities (HUC) category of the Kalusugan Pangkalahatan Awarding Ceremonies, held at the SMX Convention Center, Pasay City on February 20, 2015.
The Excellence in Kalusugan Pangkalahatan Awards 2014 is a major award given by the DOH to local governments and health workers for their contributions to the agency’s vision of boosting the Universal Health Care Program (Kalusugang Pangkalahatan). The program aims to ensure that affordable and quality health care services are accessible to all Filipinos.
Under the administration of Mayor REX Gatchalian, the health sector is being given utmost priority being one of his advocacies in his “5 Pillars of Good Governance” platform of service. This led to extensive improvement works on the city’s health stations to comply with the standards of World Health Organization (WHO). Also, lying-in clinics have been improved to make safe birthing services more accessible and affordable.
The city government also invested heavily on nutrition by sustaining the Chikiting Food Patrol and K to 6 Feeding Program for all public day-care children and undernourished pupils in all public elementary schools in the city. For school year 2014-2015, a total of 15,273 children are being fed with nutritious hot meals everyday.
“The DOH gives these public health awards to local government units all over the country in order to leverage LGU participation in achieving Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (Universal Health Care),” Health Sec. Janette Loreto-Garin said in a statement released on the DOH website.
Valenzuela City Sanitation Division officer-in-charge Dr. Jay Tamayo and City Nutrition officer-in-charge Dr. Bernadette Bordador, received the award in behalf of the city government from Secretary Garin and Department of the Interior and Local Government Usec. Austere Panadero. The city also received a cash prize of P300,000.
The winners were selected from among 80 provinces, 35 highly urbanized cities five independent component cities, 144 component cities and 1,490 municipalities. For the 2014 Excellence in KP Awards, 39 other winners received the cash prizes ranging from P50, 000 to P1, 000,000.
In 2013, Valenzuela City was awarded as “Champion for Health Governance” by a coalition of civil society groups and the academe for its “effectiveness, innovativeness, community engagement, local leadership, and transparency and accountability.”