September 23, 2023

The city council through Ordinance 114, s. 2021 has institutionalized the epidemiology and surveillance system of Baguio City.
The ordinance complies with the provisions of Republic Act 11223 or the Universal Health Care Act and Republic Act 11332, or the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern.
Rule 5 of the implementing rules and regulations of RA 11223 calls for the organization of local health systems through collaborative efforts of the Department of Health, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, and local government units.
Section 2 of RA 11332 pushes for the protection of the people from public health threats through the efficient and effective disease surveillance of notifiable diseases including emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases (EREIDs), diseases for elimination and eradication, epidemics, and health events including chemical, radio-nuclear and environmental agents of public health concern and provide an effective response system in compliance with the 2005 International Health Regulations of the World Health Organization.
Highlight of the ordinance is for the improvement and strengthening of Baguio’s health system through a well-organized and established City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) supervised by trained and dedicated staff.
The CESU, which shall be lodged in the City Health Services Office under the Health Service Delivery Division, subject to availability of funds and limitations, shall be composed of a team leader, preferably a doctor, disease surveillance officer, public health nurse, registered medical technologist, field health service information system coordinator, and encoder.
Among its other functions, the CESU will set up, manage, and maintain public health surveillance systems, which includes continuous collection, encoding, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of health data and conduct trainings on data collection, analysis, interpretation, presentation, and data quality check among local health personnel within the city-wide health system, including identified personnel from workplaces and barangay units, as applicable.
Every barangay shall organize and mobilize one Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) for every 1,000 residents; provided that, such ratio shall depend on the guidelines that shall be issued by concerned government agencies in the event of epidemics, natural or man-made disasters and EREIDs.
The city council has approved Ordinance 115, s. 2021 or the “Baguio City Universal Health Care Ordinance” for an integrated city-wide health system as a means to improve health outcomes.
The ordinance aims to ensure that all the people of Baguio are health literate, provided with healthy living conditions, and protected from hazards and risks that could affect their health and to have a comprehensive set of quality and cost-effective, promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative health services without causing financial hardship and prioritizes the needs of the population who cannot afford such services.
It also aims to institutionalize a framework that fosters whole-of-system, whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach in the development, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of health policies, programs, and plans.
The measure pushes for a well-established, enhanced, and sustained people-oriented approach for the delivery of health services that is centered on people’s needs and well-being, and cognizant of the differences in culture, values, and beliefs.
In the ordinance, the CHSO shall be responsible for the delivery of the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative components of health care within the locality.
PhilHealth shall be responsible, among other things, in providing adequate financing to enable the city government to provide individual-based interventions to their catchment population through the avenues enumerated in Section 18 of the Universal Health Care Act and in the memorandum of understanding with the city.
Both ordinances were submitted for signing to the office of Mayor Benjamin Magalong.