18 Cavite LCEs commit to more than P30M budget for local TB enactment

TRECE MARTIRES CITY, Cavite Oct 15 (PIA) -- Eighteen local chief executives in the province recently participated and completed the USAID's TB Platforms Project Usapang Dibdiban Online Forum (one-on-one session) for a comprehensive analysis on the TB-related activities and the corresponding budget required to have a strengthened TB response during COVID-19.

With support from the Department of Interior and Local Government Unit (DILG), the mayors from the cities of General Trias, Dasmari├▒as, Bacoor, Imus, Tagaytay, and Trece Martires and the municipalities of Tanza, Maragondon, Amadeo, General Emilio Aguinaldo, Naic, Magallanes, Kawit, Carmona, Alfonso, Mendez, General Mariano Alvarez, and Silang initially committed a total of P30M as counterpart budget to the Philippine government's allocation for TB for the year 2021 and welcomed the technical assistance packages proposed by USAID's TB Platforms which include strengthening of local TB response amid COVID-19 thru technical support in drafting or amending the TB ordinance, capacity building on the preparation of TB classified cost elimination plan, orientation on the implementation of FAST strategy in health facilities, conduct of community TB screening and implementation of TB in workplace settings.

Likewise, all the mayors are supportive of their health offices' proposed development of the 2021 Operational and Budget Plan for TB as this will identify the necessary requirements of the city/municipality in terms of procurement of TB drugs and XRay machines, hiring of additional human resources like nurses and medical technologists specifically assigned for the TB program and incentives for barangay healthcare workers serving the strengthened TB response in communities. 

USAID's TB Platforms presented the need for the establishment of the Primary Care Provider Network (PCPN) and Health Care Provider Network (HCPN) and all local government units along with their Provincial NTP coordinator have agreed that the city/municipal council along with their respective health offices will discuss how to effectively push this initiative which may include the engagement of the Samahan ng mga Barangay Kagawads (network of barangay councils) as part of the oversight committee.

During the discussion, USAID's TB Platforms Sustainable Finance Specialist Dr. Dave Lozada shared the importance of local chief executives support for the implementation of Universal Health Care Act and the approval of the local health board to prioritize TB in the health agenda.

Meanwhile, USAID's TB Platforms Health Governance Specialist Lilian de Leon coordinates with the Provincial DILG for the engagement of all local chief executives in the preparation of the local TB ordinances and appropriation of budget while the regional field office team led by Dr. karen Dalawangbayan directly works with the municipal health offices and the NTP medical coordinators for the full implementation of the TB response.

Cavite Provincial NTP Medical Coordinator Dr. Armand Dotollo, on the other hand, committed to support all LGUs in engaging the Provincial Governor and the Provincial Health Board to make TB a priority amid COVID-19. 

DILG Provincial Director Mr. Lionel Galope who was present in almost all Usapang Dibdiban sessions committed to help USAID's TB Platforms in monitoring the full implementation of the local TB programs in Cavite especially next year at the province face more challenges posed by the pandemic.

"If we will not act now, it will be too late. Our healthcare workers are already exhausted while our communities are afraid of COVID-19 and TB. Local chief executives need to be in the forefront of TB response amid COVID-19," stated Galope. (Ruel Francisco/Ms. Diwata Paredes of USAID TB Platforms Project)



Source: Philippines Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)

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