City Mayor Lina O. Montilla and City Health Officer Giovanni Deles MD received their certificates from the Davao Medical School Foundation (DMSF) after finishing the Municipal Leadership and Governance Program (MLGP) course during the MLGP Colloquium on 31 July 2015 in Cebu City.
The Colloquium was themed Strengthening Provincial and Municipal Champions in Health. MLGP is a health and good governance course of the Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) in partnership with the Department of Health.
For Mayor Montilla, ‘ownership’ is the most important lesson she learned in the course.
“Sa MLGP, na-realize ko na kapag hindi natin tinanggap na parte tayo ng problema, hindi natin kayang mag-isip ng konkretong mga solusyon. Ownership means empowerment,” she shared.
In the said MLGP colloquium, seven more mayors from towns of Sultan Kudarat and three from Sarangani also graduated with their health officers.
ZFF and its partners in MLGP emphasize the importance of bridging leadership. Bridging leaders, as described by ZFF President Ernesto D. Garilao, are those who are able to sustain bonds among stakeholders, driving them towards collective action to address issues in the communities.
Before receiving their certificates of completion, the mayors delivered individual public narratives on their health governance journey. After the narratives, mayors and their health officers were subjected to a panel interview. The panel is composed of officials from the Department of Health and non-government organizations.
Montilla’s narrative highlighted the sustainability of health programs in Tacurong through sound legislation and the LGU’s commitment to transparency and accountability in governance.
Because of the health reforms implemented by LGU-Tacurong through the leadership of Montilla, it was recognized as among the Top 5 National Champions in Health Governance by the KAYA NATIN! Movement. Montilla shares the award with the LGU’s legislative arm led by Vice Mayor Joseph George Lechonsito who is also a doctor by profession.
“It is important to always recognize the role of those who are in the frontline of our health service delivery programs such as the barangay health workers and our city health personnel. Barangay officials are also instrumental in bringing forth reforms,” said Montilla.
MLGP is a one-year, two-module program for mayors, municipal health officers, and DOH officials implemented by ZFF in cooperation with the Department of Health, United Nations Population Fund, and DMSF.
In each module, the mayors were required to participate in a 4-day workshop and lectures. Participants were then given a 6-month practicum to apply what they have learned in each module.
“Umaasa kaming ipagpapatuloy ng graduates ang kanilang mga nasimulan at gumawa pa ng maraming proyekto kahit walang pondo o nagbabantay,” said Dr. Eric Tayag, Director of the Bureau of Health System Development. He was the guest speaker during the Colloquium. (LGU-Tacurong City Information)

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