PHL, USAID Further Align Directions in Support to Health Objectives

June 15, 2022

The USAID – Philippines Development Objective Agreement (DOAg) Management Committee—chaired by Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Mario Villaverde and co-chaired by USAID Office of Health’s Director Michelle Lang-Alli—held its second meeting to discuss the progress of DOAg activities and affirm the DOAg Mancom’s continued support for the health sector reforms in the Philippines, particularly Universal Health Care (UHC).

Director Soledad Antonio of DOH’s Bureau of International Health Cooperation presented the DOH basket of technical assistance packages for UHC, outlining those areas with and still without support from international health partners. Dir. Antonio also presented the draft administrative order on the harmonization of technical assistance, which paves a path for cooperation and partnership in support of key UHC areas. Dr. Joseph Lachica of USAID gave a presentation on USAID’s support for 12 UHC integration sites, through policy development, health financing and public financial management, and procurement and supply chain management. Underscoring the need for collaboration, and alignment, Undersecretary Villaverde stated, “We cannot achieve UHC with a piecemeal approach. A comprehensive approach is needed to reach the highest level of UHC/integration maturity.”

USAID also presented findings of the performance evaluation of its Health Project activities for calendar year 2021. The presentation described signs of recovery in several health indicators, but performance continued to be affected by the COVID-19 surges experienced in 2021. Sharing the Health Project’s annual performance evaluation is an indication of USAID’s commitment to collaborating, learning, and adapting, in order to jointly achieve the Philippines’ health goals.

USAID Health Project Director Michelle Lang-Alli, also affirmed USAID’s sustained commitment to the strong bilateral relationship with the Philippines. She added, “As the Philippine government approaches its transition to the incoming administration, we at USAID look forward to a sustained partnership rife with opportunity.” Dir. Lang-Alli also presented Undersecretary Villaverde with a plaque of appreciation from USAID’s Mission Director Ryan Washburn, acknowledging Usec. Villaverde’s valuable contributions to USAID-GovPH partnership and collaboration.

In his closing remarks, Assistant Secretary Kenneth Ronquillo stated, “We are approaching a passing of the baton between administrations, and this handover comes with the promise of opportunities for progress in UHC, reforms in the way we do business through program integration and harmonization, and positive health outcomes through the implementation of the Omnibus Health Guidelines, including in areas where USAID has continued to provide strong technical assistance and collaboration”.