Koronadal City---South Cotabato is open to set a local monitoring mechanism to ensure human rights violations are properly reported and acted. Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes supported the putting up of Provincial Local Monitoring Mechanism to prevent and resolve cases of extra judicial killings, enforced disappearance and torture. “I am willing to try this method to comply with the international agreement,” Fuentes stressed out. During the recent Peace and Order Council meeting, the members approved the creation of PLMM. The operation of the PLMM is rooted down at the barangay level. Fuentes will sit as the chairman of the group, the provincial DILG is the vice chairperson and the local Commission on Human Rights is the secretariat. The establishment of a provincial human rights monitoring mechanism would pave the way for trainings and case conferences. “We hoped through the convergence of efforts, impunity will eventually end,” Fuentes added.
Koronadal City---Health officials here initiated a convergence initiative to eliminate the spread of rabies virus in the town of Tboli as three deaths were reported as of March 18, a hundred percent higher compared to the same period last year. Cecil Lorenzo, Disease Surveillance Officer, said the provincial government through the Integrated Provincial Health Office set off the convergence to help push the municipal government to act the alarming public health situation in the area. “We have a total of 10 deaths in Tboli in the last seven years,” Lorenzo said, presenting the report of the Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance. Since 2011, Tboli has reported deaths every year according to the trend of rabies death in South Cotabato, Lorenzo said. Lorenzo pointed out rabies in South Cotabato is at an alarming level with three human deaths in Tboli, two in Lake Sebu, and one each in Polomolok and Banga in the first quarter of 2017. Majority of the victims were male. Six of them were bitten by unvaccinated dogs. Based on examination, one dog was found out positive with rabies through Flourescent Antibody Test, a test in which a florescent dye is linked to an antibody for diagnostic purposes like rabies. John Codilla, Rabies Program Coordinator, said an inter-agency meeting was conducted to revise the Rabies Ordinance and update the provincial legislation as South Cotabato embarks on eradicating rabies in 2020. “We also visited the local government unit of Tboli to assist them in their activities to lower the cases,” Codilla said. The activities will be implemented the soonest possible time, Codilla added.
Koronadal City---Eight barangays in South Cotabato are delisted in the list of Top 20 Barangays with high number of malnourished children. Ana Uy, Provincial Nutrition Action Officer, said the Provincial Nutrition Convergence Team identified these barangays as priority areas based on the Operation Timbang Report in 2016 for nutrition convergence implementation. “We are happy these barangays worked harder to pull out their resources and get their children back in shape,” Uy noted. According to the report, the five most improved barangays in Tboli are Datal Dlanag, Basag, Talcon, and Malugong. Meanwhile, other barangays like Lampitak (Tampakan), Tinago Norala), Halilan (Lake Sebu), and Cabuling (Banga) are also out in the list this year, Uy stressed out. “This is because of the LGU support and the barangay council’s commitment,” Uy said.
Koronadal City---Governor Daisy Avance Fuentes is one of the 11 governors in the country who are chosen to take on the challenge of becoming champion for health and catalyst in achieving the goals of the Philippine Health Agenda. James Fruto, Executive Assistant, said Fuentes was selected to be part of the Governors for Health and Development (G4HD) Project under the Provincial Leadership and Governance Program (PLGP) of the Zuellig Family Foundation and Department of Health. The governor identified Sitio Traanleteng in Barangay Kematu, Tboli, a small scale mining community in Tboli as her special project area. “She will create change in this area through community healthcare,” Fruto explained. According to Fruto, the PLGP is one of the programs of the ZFF that help provincial leaders analyze current health care capacities to attain vital change at the grassroots level. “Our governor is very eager to start her pet project. In fact, there were series of meeting conducted and a team of community organizers visited the area for community profiling,” Fruto said. However, he stressed out the system is not new in the process of community development in South Cotabato for co-management, a rural extension practice, is already in place in delivering services to communities in the province. “Health system is an important step in understanding governance,” Fruto reiterated Fuentes’ statement during a core group meeting with the convergence team. The project is an 18-month practitioner bridging leadership program designed as a learning journey for provincial chief executives which is focus in reforming the health system.
Koronadal City---Social Health Insurance (SHI) is now one of the subjects in tertiary schools, Dr. Grace Pamonag, PhilHealth Regional Vice President, confirmed in an interview recently. “We are proud that is here in the region that we have pilot tested its possibility particularly in Sultan Kudarat Educational Institution in Tacurong,” Pamonag said. This year, SHI module will be included as a regular subject of Midwifery, Nursing and Education classes in all colleges and universities, Pamonag stressed out. During PhilHealth’s Anniversary last February 14 in Metro Manila, SKEI was recognized for its partnership in the pilot teaching of SHI module. SKEI offered the module in its three colleges specifically in Primary Health Care 1 and 2 of the Midwifery Course, in the Community Health Nursing Subject under the Nursing Course and as a special subject for Education classes in 2016. “We have acknowledged the academe as a vital partner in the implementation of PhilHealth program for we have created a pool of advocates at the grassroots level,” she explained. PhilHealth officials has already coordinated with Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education for the national roll out in 2018 as SHI module is already institutionalized. “As of now, we are crafting textbooks and modules so that it will be included as a subject in the elementary level,” Pamonag added.
Koronadal City---Local police here will start the school-based campaign on road safety as incidence of road crash involving people aged 16 years old to 30 years old is increasing. Police Chief Inspector Marvin Duadua, PNP South Cotabato Community Relations Officer, said road safety campaign should start in school. “Sa aton obserbasyon, madamo nagapanag-iya sang motorsiklo mga teenagers pa and they are using it in going to school,” Duadua pointed out. Motorcycle is the widely used and the most accessible means of transportation in South Cotabato due to its affordability. “Our record says there were 2200 motorcycle owners involved in road crashes in South Cotabato,” Duadua said. Two to three fatal road crashes happened in the highways of South Cotabato every day last year, he said. “This is because of over speeding, bad turning and bad overtaking,” Duadua emphasized the top three reasons of road mishaps in the province. Most of the traffic violators are motorcycle drivers, based on the traffic report. “We will start to educate the school children so that when they grow up they are aware how to be a responsible driver,” Duadua added.
Koronadal City— To strengthen the delivery of basic health services for indigenous communities in South Cotabato, local experts here meet up to discuss pressing issues like maternal, neonatal and child health and nutrition. Marifort Rafael, Health Education and Promotions Officer, said a convergence meeting was held recently to intensify the program that help alleviate the health condition of Tbolis, Muslims, Blaans and other minority groups in the province. “This is not a new program but we will build up its implementation by converging services from other concerned agencies to give a higher quality service,” Rafael said. Although incidence of malnutrition in South Cotabato has decreased, cases of undernourished children are higher among towns with IP communities, according to the 2016 MDG Accomplishment Report. For two years now, South Cotabato identified top 20 priority barangays with the highest malnutrition prevalence rate to focus nutrition program services in specific area. However, the report showed the surge of under-five and Infant Mortality are well noticed in the year 2011 to 2013 but declined since 2014. Although Infant Mortality Rate of every LGU is lower than the national target, health officials are also concern with high incidence of IMR in three towns with great number of minority groups. "To maximize the flow of service, we tapped the influence of the mandatory representative of the indigenous people in South Cotabato," Rodel said, stressing the attendance of IP Representative Board Member Edgar Sambog. Other agencies like DILG, Social Welfare, Agriculture, Health and Education are members of the group that will help disadvantaged groups to have better access, utilization and coverage of health services to achieve better health outcomes.
The Weight Management Program of the Provincial Government of South Cotabato is taking another level by betting the desired weight loses. Dr. Rogelio Aturdido, Provincial Health Officer and Provincial Health Wellness Board Chairperson, said the Lose It To Win Challenge 2017 is a team challenge composed of five members who are regular or job order workers of the Provincial Capitol which will be provided with an initial fund to use for monthly bet. “The team who able to lose the required weight can take back the monthly bet but the team who unable to attain the target weight loss shall go to the challenger’s pot money,” Aturdido said. According to the mechanics, a weekly weigh-ins shall be conducted and a monthly prize will be awarded to the team who has the average weight reduced. The program aims to provide venue for employees of the province who wants to attain their ideal body weight. Twelve teams will compete and the team who will attain the highest average weight loss at the end of the program shall have the pot money. The competition will run until September.
Koronadal City---The DILG in South Cotabato warmly welcomes its new provincial director in a turn-over ceremony yesterday. Aurora Andrea de Pedro, who has served as Local Government Officer in three towns of the province prior to her new assignment, accepted the responsibility which is previously handled by Lailyn Ortiz, who also took the challenged as the officer-in-charge of the Office of the Assistant Regional Director of DILG Region 12. “Sana maging malakas at matibay ang ating partnership towards achieving excellence in local governance,” de Pedro said in her acceptance speech as she asked for support from the officials of South Cotabato. Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes, who was also present during the installation ceremony, said, “at this time I am very proud of our DILG family. Your work has been appreciated.” The governor and her team are preparing for a welcome and thank you dinner to de Pedro and Ortiz. De Pedro also served as the Executive Assistant of the DILG Secretary Mike Sueno for seven months. Her position, however, will be handled by Heidy Agustin, who is the DILG Municipal Officer of Tampakan.
Koronadal City—South Cotabato is making small steps in embracing organic agriculture in animal farming as the Provincial Veterinary through the Animal Production and Processing Center spearheaded training on Organic Agriculture Production with NC II competency. Dr. Raul Teves, APPC Officer-in-Charge, said the project tied up with TESDA and the Agricultural Training Institute (ATI) to produce a pool of educators and young farmers who will be competitive, higly skilled and holistically developed individuals in the field of organic agriculture in South Cotabato. “This is our way to encourage the participants in the advocacy of the office on different veterinary services and programs,” Teves said. PVET spreads the organic animal farming technology as the APPC is also practicing the same. “We wanted our animal farmers to earn from organic farming. The conversion involves a slow process but more consumers are health conscious so the market is waiting,” Teves said. AT least 30 teachers and animal sanitary inspectors attended the training.