Press Release/20 August 2020
The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP), in collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), held a webinar to brief participants on the new Omnibus Guidelines On COVID-19 Testing and help ramp up efforts of local governments to overcome the threats of COVID-19 and TB in the country.
Attended by over 300 participants, mainly local government officials and executives, concerned local healthcare personnel, and other relevant officials and heads, the event was held to initiate needed policy adjustments across the country and ensure appreciation of guidelines in the national response to COVID-19 for smooth adoption at the grassroots level.
Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III stressed that a whole-of-nation response is needed as the health system feels the gravity of COVID-19’s impact at the community level.
“The DOH is grateful for the proactive actions of our local chief executives to protect their constituents and for taking on the critical role of building local integrated health systems,” Duque said. “As the national technical lead in the arena of health, the DOH commits to making available as much support and guidance as possible, but no one can deny the significant contributions of other agencies of the government, especially the LGUs,” he added.
Moreover, the webinar gave way for an increased level of awareness among local government units (LGUs) about the DOH National Tuberculosis (TB) Control Program.
With the danger of the fast growing number of TB carriers, the role of LGUs was highlighted in the continuous and smooth community-based delivery of TB health services, and improved TB case detection. Further, the updated policies and new approaches were cascaded to empower LGUs leading the in TB elimination efforts in line with the #BeatCOVID19 Framework that ULAP adopted.
According to the Secretary, tuberculosis is a respiratory infection closely related to COVID-19 virus which, if neglected, may complicate the national response strategy. “As we celebrate Lung Month, so must we renew our pledge to end TB in the Philippines,” the health chief concluded.