May 20, 2024

Mayor Benjamin Magalong stressed the city government’s support in the fight against HIV/AIDS during the Baguio AIDS Watch Council’s (AWAC) first quarter meeting.

Magalong promised to look for more sources of funds to secure the needed equipment and resources to help people living with HIV and others affected by the dreaded disease.

Councilor Levy Lloyd Orcales, Sangguniang Kabataan president and chair of the city council’s committee on youth welfare and sports development, said under Ordinance 16, s. 2022 or the Baguio City HIV/AIDS Control Ordinance of 2022, the Baguio AWAC, Inc. shall remain as an integral part of city initiatives in combating HIV/AIDS in recognition of its active role as partners in the private sector for the promotion of government and community initiatives to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and HIV/AIDS since its inception in 1987.

The AWAC leads in advocacy, networking/coordination, education and prevention, capability building, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of activities and related programs on STI/HIV/AIDS; facilitate/assist in the provision of medical and/or social assistance to persons living with HIV; serve as a local resource pool for technical assistance among program partners; develop a comprehensive long-term local HIV/AIDS prevention and control program through the conduct of a strategic planning workshop for members;

Submit to the City Mayor’s Office an annual report of its activities and accomplishments, copy-furnished the city council; lead in the support and celebration of national and international programs on STI/HIV/AIDS in the city; meet at least once every quarter or as often as may be necessary; create committees deemed necessary to effectively implement this ordinance; and perform such other functions as may be provided by legislation or by the local chief executive.

The AWAC is composed of the city mayor as chairperson with Baguio AWAC president and city council chairperson of the committee on health and sanitation, ecology and environmental protection as co-chairpersons.

Serving as action officers are the Reproductive Health and Wellness Center focal person and the City Health Officer.

Members are chair of the city council’s committee on youth welfare and sports development/SK president, city social welfare and development officer, Liga ng mga Barangay president, persons with disability affairs office officer, schools division superintendent, representatives from the Baguio Association of Bars and Entertainers Society and Baguio Center for Young Adults, and more from the government and private sectors including faith-based groups. – Gaby B. Keith