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DOH6 launches ‘Heal the Earth’ project

ILOILO CITY (PIA) -- The Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development (DOH WV CHD) recently launched its Heath, Population & Environment Project: Heal the Earth in several towns in Iloilo province.

The Heal the Earth project is a program of the DOH 6 in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 6 and the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) 6 through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed in June of this year.

For a Healthier Pilipinas. A tripartite collaboration on Health, Popuation, and Environment (HPE) come into realization as DENR VI regional director Livino Duran (upper left), CPD VI regional director Harold Alfred Marshal, and DOH WV CHD regional director Dr. Adriano P. Suba-an signed a memorandum of agreement in June of this year. Photos by DOH WV CHD

“This initiative signifies a visionary step towards achieving a sustainable development that acknowledges the intricate interconnections between the population, health, and the environment,” said DOH 6 regional director Dr. Adriano P. Suba-an.

The concept of this project seeks to HEAL the EARTH through a convergence of efforts in increasing awareness and understanding of the impact of population on both environmental and people’s health.

Also, it dwells on the non-monetary incentivization of population management activities to contribute to environmental rehabilitation and management activities as well as the improvement of people’s health.

The pioneer site in the region was the Calinog town in Iloilo province with the launching held last August 30, 2023.

According to the DOH 6 report, Calinog, like many other municipalities, faces the intricate challenge of striking a balance between development aspirations and ecological conservation.

“As other regions grapple with similar challenges, the municipality of Calinog stands as an inspiring example of how integrated efforts can lead to lasting positive change,” Suba-an added.

On September 14, the tripartite collaboration was also launched in the municipality of Maasin being recognized as the champion of this PHE project based on three success indicators - regional mandate, community support, and multi-sectoral collaboration.

A ceremonial signing of the MOA for the DOH 6 grant was undertaken with Suba-an and Maasin Mayor Francis A. Amboy.

Maasin Municipal Health Officer Dr. Arthur James G. Rendon and the entire local government unit expressed their appreciation for the launching of the said project.

The tree of support and commitment to the initiative signifying a visionary step towards achieving sustainable development that acknowledges the intricate interconnections between population, health, and the environment during the project launching in Calinog town, Iloilo province.

Along with the project launch, DOH 6 also rendered different free health services to the constituents of the said town, including the KnowTell Van, which offers free HIV testing and mental health screening, and the KonsulTayo Tuberculosis Van, which offers free TB screening and X-ray services.

This initiative signifies a visionary step towards achieving sustainable development, as embodied in the Philippine Population and Development Program, that acknowledges the intricate interconnections between the population, health, and the environment.

Based on the 2020 Census of Population and Housing (CPH) data of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), Western Visayas has a total population of 7,954,723 with 1.14 percent increase annually from 2015 to 2020. The said number is slightly higher than the 1.13 population growth rate from 2010 to 2015.

The province of Negros Occidental leads in terms of the number of population with 2,623,172, followed by the Iloilo province with 2,051,899 persons, Capiz - 804,952, Aklan - 615,475, Antique - 612,974, ang Guimaras with 187,842 persons.

Meanwhile, the two highly urbanized cities in the region - Bacolod City and Iloilo City - noted 600,783 and 457,626 population, respectively.

“The launch of the PHE program is indeed a testament to how the power of unity, collaboration, and innovative thinking can create a significant step toward addressing health concerns while safeguarding the environment and ensuring progress for the entire community,” the DOH 6 chief emphasized.

Meanwhile, on October 5, the health department along with the partner agencies will also launch the Heal the Earth project in LGU Concepcion and soon with other towns and provinces in the region. (AAL/FRG/PIA 6/with reports from DOH 6)

About the Author

Franz Remar Garion

Region 6

Indicium gladio fortior est

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