G-Watch Launches its new Health Initiative, Conducts Briefing-Orientation for Volunteer-Monitors

G-Watch goes PRO-Health!

PRO-Health or Promoting Rights Organizing for Health is a health organizing initiative of the Government Watch (G-Watch) that aims to improve public health governance to make quality reproductive, maternal and newborn, children and adolescents health services accessible to all.

In partnership with Accountability Research Center (ARC), PRO-Health is supporting the organizing, monitoring, advocacy and learning of monitors and accountability frontliners of G-Watch’s local core groups and other allied civil society organizations.

In Pasig City, PRO-Health is being implemented in partnership with the Pasig City Government – Office of City Mayor.

PRO-Health is specifically monitoring three health programs/ policies of the government for the first year: (1) Reproductive Health and Responsible Parenthood, (2) First 1000 Days; and (3) Mental Health. The main target of monitoring will be facilities, services and medicines in barangay health units, relevant procurement activities and performance of public health professionals.

Focus programs

Signed in 2012, the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act or RH Law guarantees free and universal access to various forms of contraceptives. It also mandates the authorities to conduct education and counseling to help couples, especially women, plan for their family. Despite these measures, there is this lingering perception that the availability of contraceptives at the barangay level remains extremely limited. 

Described by the Department of Health (DOH) as the “best Christmas gift of the Duterte administration to Filipino mothers and their children,” the First 1,000 Days Law was enacted to provide health and nutrition services to all infants during the first 1,000 days of their lives. Though the maternal mortality rate had slightly declined from 121 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2017 to 104 in 2022, mortality rates among neonates, infants and children under five have remained practically unchanged in the past five years. Also, according to the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation (UN IGME) released in January 2023, “60,000 children die annually before their fifth birthday because of complications of premature birth, intrapartum complications and infections diseases” a situation that, according to same report, could lead to the deaths of almost 59 million children and youth before 2030.

Leaving no visible traces or physical injuries, the problem of mental illness is considered as a ticking time bomb for millions of Filipinos. This prompted the government to enact the Mental Health Law in 2018, to ensure that timely, affordable and culturally appropriate mental health care are made available to the public. 

But the challenge remains both daunting pressing. According to DOH, mental health disorder is the third most common disability in the country, affecting 3.6 million Filipinos during the height of the pandemic. The problem is, in fact, so serious that the Philippines now has the third highest rate of mental disorders per capita in the Western Pacific region.

Briefing-Orientation Seminar Series

This April 29-30, PRO-Health will kick off its Briefing-Orientation Seminars for its volunteer-monitors in Pasig City. Expecting to gather 40 volunteer-monitors from various civil society organizations of Pasig City, the monitoring will cover all the barangay health units of Pasig City using three monitoring tools: (1) health units monitoring tool, (2) citizen feedback form and (3) public health workers entitlements checklist.   

The next briefing-orientation seminars from May to July will be in Dumaguete, Puerto Princesa City, Lanao del Sur, Agusan del Sur and with partner organizations.

For more on PRO-Health groundworking stories, check out this latest article

Interested to volunteer as PRO-Health monitor? Check the G-Watch Facebook page how.