A digital space for local leaders to share their experiences on pandemic response and management – Manila Bulletin

Following the successful launch of the “Pandemic Playbook: A Local Chief Executive’s Guide to Handling COVID-19 and Other Future Pandemics” in July 2021, the Kaya Natin Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership, in collaboration with the Philippine Alliance of Organizations of Patients (PAPO) and MSD in the Philippines, organized a virtual regional caravan from November 15 to 19, 2021 with local business leaders (LCE) in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The caravan provided local leaders with a digital space to share their experiences and best practices in pandemic response and management in their respective local units.

MSD President and CEO Dr Beaver Tamesis opened the three-pronged program, congratulating the partners behind the Pandemic Playbook and the Regional Caravan – from the Kaya Natin Movement, PAPO and local government units ( LGU), for providing significant opportunities to come together to find solutions to the new challenges brought by the pandemic.


“The Pandemic Handbook serves as a resource for policy development at the local level in dealing with COVID-19 and other public health emergencies in the future,” said Dr Tamesis. With this in mind, Dr Tamesis also declared MSD’s commitment to supporting organizations and LGUs dedicated to serving Filipino patients.

“As a company dedicated to saving and improving lives for 130 years around the world, and for more than 25 years here in the Philippines, at MSD, we recognize that we have a special responsibility when it comes to health. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MSD has collaborated with stakeholders from different sectors to find and develop sustainable solutions; disseminating information on innovations relevant to equitable access to quality health care, ”added Dr Tamesis.

The manual highlights six key areas of case management: a) incident command system, b) border control, c) testing, d) contact tracing, e) isolation and quarantine , and f) the referral system. During the regional digital caravan, local CEOs discussed key areas they focused on that served their local municipality well during the height of the pandemic.

After the mayors’ discussions on their pandemic response and management programs, there was a question-and-answer section and closing messages from the President of PAPO, Maria Fatima “Girlie” Garcia-Lorenzo, and the Vice -President of the Philippines, Maria Leonor “Leni” Gerona Robredo.

Case management practices

For the Luçon stage, the mayor Trina Firmalo Fabic d’Odiongan, Romblon; Mayor Herminigildo Velasco of San Gabriel, La Union; and Mayor Madelaine Alfelor d’Iriga, Camarines Sur, presented their respective LGU’s COVID-19 response. Among the highlighted management efforts and programs were border control, improvement of their incident command systems and information dissemination. Decrees establishing checkpoints at entry and exit points, face-to-face information dissemination practices, and strengthening their incident command systems have enabled their communities to minimize the number of COVID-related cases. The assistance, willingness and cooperation of barangay officials and the communities themselves have also enabled these programs to be successfully implemented.

Access to essential services and protection of vulnerable groups

the mayors Jerry Treñas of the city of Iloilo; Eunice Uy-Babalcon of Paranas, Samar; and Lovell Anne Yu from Alangalang, Leyte were the featured local business leaders to present for the Visayas portion of the caravan. Common to all of the Mayor’s pandemic response and management programs was to provide access to essential health services to vulnerable sectors in their respective communities while using the scientific and technological tools available to make informed decisions by the risks.

Quarantine facilities, a molecular laboratory and an online delivery platform for essential health products were some of the initiatives implemented and discussed by the mayors. Regular health checks, health awareness events, immunization information campaigns and systematic immunization deployments were also carried out in key cities and remote areas to ensure their health needs. health were taken into account.

Data management and risk communication

The last day of the caravan focused on the data management and risk communication pandemic response and management programs of mayors Oscar Moreno of Cagayan De Oro and Sitti Djalia Turabin Hataman of Isabela City, Basilan. For both LGUs, dealing with disinformation was a priority as the country slowly eased its restrictions. In addition to promoting and implementing vaccine rollout, mayors focused on using all possible communication channels. They used offline and digital means to disseminate information about the current situation, allowing them to communicate with their communities regardless of potential signal fluctuations in remote areas.

Lessons learned from all

As the mayors mentioned in the trailer, COVID-19 is now part of everyone’s life. It is better to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.

The Kaya Natin movement, in collaboration with MSD and PAPO, executed the pandemic and caravan playbook as a way to share best practices among local leaders and enable them to adopt those that match the response agendas and pandemic management in their region. As Lorenzo and Vice President Robredo of PAPO mentioned during the three days of the caravan, the ideas shared through the pandemic playbook and the caravan are important because they showed how good leadership is. is essential to manage the current situation. These types of rulers were the modern heroes of the country as they worked together towards a better normalcy.

“I truly believe that the Filipino spirit has the capacity to overcome the challenges of the present and create a kinder, more just and more humane nation for ourselves, for our families and for the generations to come. Buo ang paniniwala kong, kaya natin ”, explained Vice-President Robredo.



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