MAYOR LECHONSITO RECEIVES COACHING AND MONITORING FROM ZUELLIG, TCI FOR AYSRH

The long-standing commitment and partnership among the City Government of Tacurong, Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF), and The Challenge Initiative (TCI) to advocate adolescent and youth reproductive health (AYSRH) in Tacurong continues to be forged stronger through the Leadership for Adolescence and Youth Friendly Cities (LAYFC) program.
 
City Mayor Joseph George L. Lechonsito, Marlow Buenacosa, Nurse III of the City Health Office; Gary Bañas, City Population Officer; and other partner cities received coaching and mentoring on LAYFC last October 12, 2022 in Makati City.
 
Together with the newly -elected mayors of Cagayan de Oro City (CDO) and General Santos City, Mayor Lechonsito underwent sessions anchored on ZFF’s Bridging Leadership Framework that helps put emphasis on the leadership roles of chief executives as the visionary, caller and integrator of issues concerning adolescent and youth reproductive health in their respective territories.
 
It was the program's aim that by the end, LAYFC leaders would have developed an “adolescent and youth-friendly city'' through strengthened inter-sectoral collaboration and involvement of the community and youth leaders towards achievement of better health outcomes for women and young people.
 
Kate Graham, Senior Program Officer of TCI, Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health, and John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, welcomed the delegates to the program through a virtual message. She reported the accomplishments of the partnership in 2021 and emphasized the critical role of data for better decision-making.
 
Dr. Dorielyn Balanoba, Chief of Party of TCI Philippine Hub, gave a program overview of the TCI project.
 
Dr. Juan Antonio Perez, III, Health, Population and Development Expert, presented the Philippine Development Plan: Harnessing the Demographic Dividend by Reducing Teenage Pregnancies. He echoed the core message of the TCI project that a strong leadership and governance is needed to intensify efforts in curbing teen pregnancies in the country in order for the young people to get their share in the demographic dividend.
 
Dr. Anthony Faraon, ZFF Deputy Executive Director, gave a brief presentation on Championing Local Leadership and Governance for AYSRH. He emphasized on the complex challenges of AYSRH program implementation and explained the Bridging Leadership process as a leadership approach in addressing such complex challenges.
 
For their part, Mayor Lechonsito and CDO Mayor Rolando Uy each gave presentations on the current realities of their respective cities on AYSRH.
 
After the presentations, a focused, sit-down mentoring session was provided to Mayor Lechonsito, the Tacurong delegates, and Desiree Concepcion U. Garganian, Regional Director of Commission on Population and Development Region XII.
 
With the introduction of Mayor Lechonsito to the LAYFC program, the city government becomes better equipped in formulating and implementing policies that will promote and protect the adolescent and youth in Tacurong against teenage pregnancy. (POPCOM12/YMR-LGUTac-Info)
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