May 19, 2024

The city council has approved Ordinance 25, s. 2024 or “The Bakuna Champions Ordinance of the City of Baguio,” which aims to strengthen the community’s immunization program and ensure the protection of the general health and well-being of all city constituents, especially those most vulnerable, from vaccine-preventable diseases.
The ordinance also seeks to strengthen the community’s immunization program as an effective holistic strategy to regain and build the public’s trust and confidence in vaccines and immunization; recruit and develop bakuna champions to support local health workers and other volunteer community health workers and amplify health messages to shape positive behaviors on immunization and health; create the foundation for sustainable social mobilization through the empowerment of bakuna champions; decrease the burden of vaccine-preventable diseases by employing the social mobilization process to develop local strategies and activities to address vaccine hesitancy among vulnerable groups in the community; and engage and empower local mobilizers to address low immunization uptake.
A bakuna champion refers to a barangay-based volunteer health worker responsible for increasing vaccination coverage by addressing vaccine hesitancy, and linking their communities with vaccination and related service programs/providers.
Under the ordinance, to effectively promote vaccine use and address vaccine hesitancy in the city, community volunteers or the bakuna champions shall be recruited from the barangay to advocate and serve as influencers to spread pro-vaccine messages to alter the attitudes and perceptions towards vaccines and vaccination.
Applicants for bakuna champions must be at least 18 years of age as of the date of the filing, a resident of the city, able to read and write, able to communicate effectively, physically and mentally fit, willing to voluntarily perform and be trained on the roles and responsibilities of a bakuna champion and other related functions as may be mandated by higher authorities; must not have been convicted with any case involving moral turpitude; and must have no conflict of interest in the delivery of primary care services.
The ordinance prohibits making any physical disability, mental health condition, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, economic status, race, color, language, religion, ethnic or social origin as a ground for disqualification for bakuna champions.
The documentary requirements for applicants which shall be submitted to the City Health Services Office with the endorsement of the barangay are duly accomplished application form; birth certificate or any official document in support of declared age; a notarized declaration of conflict of interest; barangay clearance; and a medical certificate duly signed by a city health personnel.
The recruitment process starts with the barangay recommending/endorsing to the CHSO a qualified community volunteer to be trained as a bakuna champion from among its constituents. This goes to the CHSO-Health Promotion Unit for screening, then to the BC oversight committee for evaluation and endorsement of the volunteer to the Local Health Board to be registered as a bakuna champion.
The benefits and incentives of active and regular performing BCs, in recognition of their services and to aid them in performing their duties are monthly stipend; training, education, and career enrichment for the basic training program to be provided/conducted by the CHSO or a capable non-government organization, in cooperation with the Department of Health, within six months from the date of their registration.
The CHSO shall also provide continuous capacity development for the bakuna champions, at least on an annual basis, to ensure that they remain current in their knowledge of promoting vaccine use.
Other benefits of bakuna champions are free legal services to be provided by the Public Attorney’s Office in cases of coercion, interference, and other civil and criminal cases filed by or against arising out of or in connection with the performance of their duties; annual free compulsory medical examination at the CHSO; and eligibility and preferential prioritization for registration as a barangay health worker.
The LHB shall register all interested and qualified bakuna champion volunteers. However, should the total number of registered bakuna champion volunteers exceed the total number of barangays in the city, priority for mobilization shall be based on the needs of the community.
The required amount of P2.4 million to defray the expenses necessary or incidental to the implementation of the program is guaranteed from the total amount allotted under the 2023 General Appropriations Act, under the certificate of availability of funds for the city.
The above expenses may include, but are not limited to, the cost of printing copies of this ordinance; information, education, and communication materials on promoting psychosocial and mental well-being; cost of regular or periodic meetings of the oversight committee; cost of inspection and enforcement by the oversight committee, including allowances for meals and transportation; logistical support for bakuna champions; benefits and incentives of bakuna champions; and other expenses associated with the implementation and enforcement of the ordinance.
In addition to the initial funding for the program as downloaded by the Department of Health, the funding for non-monetary benefits for the bakuna champions shall be incorporated under the annual budget of the CASE.
The ordinance was submitted to the office of City Mayor Benjamin Magalong for his signature.
The city council through Resolution 285, s. 2024 declares every last Saturday of April as “Tai Chi” day in Baguio.
Tai Chi is a slow-motion, moving, meditative exercise for relaxation and self-defense. It originated in China but gained popularity worldwide for its scientific and medically studied health benefits from relieving stress to modifying behaviors.
It improves balance and coordination, especially among elders; increases the immune system, muscle tone, and bone density; and improves flexibility, general health, and well-being.
The city council through Resolution 276, s. 2024 has commended Wilfredo Campos of San Luis Village barangay for his exemplary act of kindness and honesty.
Campos, who works as a dedicated taxi driver and also an Army reservist found on April 21 a wallet containing P34,000 cash on the passenger seat of his taxi with the rightful owner’s identification card from Greenwater Village barangay.
He promptly proceeded to the address without hesitation and sought assistance from the residents, who graciously aided him in the prompt and eventual return of the wallet to its owner on the morning of April 22.
The resolution stated that Campos’ display of honesty and integrity exemplifies the morals and values upheld by taxi drivers in the city, further solidifying its reputation as a City of Character.
“The city government of Baguio takes pride in having citizens like Wilfredo Campos, who exemplify commendable values worthy of emulation not only by fellow public utility drivers but by all members of the community,” reads the resolution.