|PCP Advocacy and Communications Committee
Chair and Principal Author:
Anthony Leachon, MD
Co- Authors/ Members:
Felix Eduardo Punzalan, MD, Kenneth Hartigan-Go, MD , Rogelio Tangco, MD, Antonio Dans, MD, Willie Ong, MD, Nanette Domingo Reyes, MD, Minguita Padilla, MD, Naomi Martin, MD, Peter San Diego, MD, Eugene Ramos, MD, and Rene Juaneza, MD, PCP President.
The Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) has pulled together through the PCP Advocacy and Communications Committee, led by its chair, Dr Tony Leachon, to push and endorse a landmark policy recommendation to address and finally provide a strategic roadmap to the health and education issues of the country.
Proposed Executive Order: HERO of 2006
The Department of Education (DepEd), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and Philippine Medical Association (PMA) have approved the PCP health advocacy endorsed by the Senate through Sen. Ramon Magsaysay, Jr., Chair of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology and Senate President Manuel Villar. The approvals have the paved the way for an expected endorsement of this executive order by the Senate to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The proponents hope that PGMA will consider it favorably and issue an urgent executive order or EO which can ensure the proposal’s effective implementation. This executive order shall be known as the “Health and Education Reform Order of 2006” (HERO of 2006).
The primary goal of the PCP proposal is to improve the healthcare and education system of the Filipino people through the broad partnership of government, legislators, educators, physicians, teachers, the business sector and nongovernmental organization (NGOs). This broad coalition will hopefully muster greater support for programs that would target the prevention of the leading causes of sickness and deaths in the country. The ultimate goal is to create a healthier and educated Filipino.
The executive order also aims to create and build a "culture of commitment", involving not only healthcare professionals but others as well to help heal the various “ills” and tribulations of the nation. With a deep sense of commitment, the “haves” would hopefully share their blessings with the “have nots” by way of social responsibility programs, specifically in the areas of health and education. The HERO will also build on the great gains achieved by the PGMA administration, particularly in the areas of health and education.
The working hypothesis of the executive order is that there is a link between deterioration in healthcare condition and quality of education. Therefore, by improving the quality of education, health care condition should gradually improve with time. This makes some sense since education on the preventive aspects of these common causes of illness and death can truly inculcate a strong sense of treasuring one’s health, and never allowing it to be compromised in one’s pursuit of material wealth when one starts to work.
Proposals of the HERO
The Executive Order entails partnering with the DepEd, DOST, CHED and other educators in incorporating relevant health education updates which will emphasize the prevention of leading causes of illness and death such as cardiovascular diseases, pneumonia , cancer, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), diabetes and other communicable diseases in the school curriculum of primary, secondary, college and postgraduate levels.
It proposes to include also relevant topics like moral values, integrity, heroism, patriotism, leadership, communication skills, code of ethics and passion for excellence. The emphasis on ethical principles and values aims to create and build a new culture of commitment which will help uplift our economy and enhance the image of Filipinos here and abroad.
The plan of action is to identify, harmonize and consolidate all advocacy and public health campaign programs in cooperation with the government and the different subspecialty societies of the PCP and other medical organizations affiliated with the Philippine Medical Association (PMA), that would address the top 10 leading causes of morbidity and mortality, currently afflicting the country.
The PCP and the proponents consider this policy recommendation and executive order as an excellent solution to address the health and education issues confronting the country now. We fervently hope that life could be breathed into it via a Presidential Executive Order as soon as possible because the country is waiting.