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Tabaco City: Pilot area for UHC in the Philippines

By Rhaydz B. Barcia

TABACO City has been selected as one of the three pilot areas for Universal Health Care (UHC) initiatives in the Philippines.

The Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health, and Welfare (PNGOC) has chosen Tabaco City to implement Project Sikat as part of the Philippine Development Plan 2023-2028 for health and the local government health agenda. This project also extends to Baguio City and Barangay Silangan, Quezon City.

Tabaco City, with a population of 140,961 based on the 2020 census, is focusing on maternal and child health, particularly addressing malnutrition and stunting, alongside their COVID-19 response.

To strengthen healthcare programs in the region, Tabaco City's government, led by Mayor Krisel Lagman, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with PNGOC. Under this MOU, PNGOC commits to supporting reproductive health and maternal and child health initiatives, including free treatment for children born with clubfoot.

This partnership formalizes Tabaco City and PNGOC's commitment to implementing Project Sikat on UHC, supported by the Rockefeller Foundation. The project aims to complement the UHC initiatives of the Department of Health and local government units (LGUs).

The Sikat project, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, aims to enhance household and community resilience, especially in the post-pandemic era. It will also present the results of a scoping study on UHC and primary health in Tabaco City, considering the community's experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, it's worth noting that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the Philippines, with a high number of casualties, and there's a need to address vaccination awareness and coverage for other diseases such as influenza and pneumonia.

Furthermore, Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman commends the House of Representatives for passing the "Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Act," emphasizing the importance of preventing adolescent pregnancies due to their societal and economic consequences. The Philippines faces challenges in reducing teenage pregnancy rates, and this legislation aims to address this critical issue through comprehensive policies and strategies.

In conclusion, Tabaco City's selection as a UHC pilot area and the passage of the Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Act reflect ongoing efforts to improve healthcare and address pressing social issues in the Philippines.


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