Lobregat shares Zambo’s good practices on anti-HIV-AIDS drive PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 26 August 2011 16:12

Zamboanga City’s HIV-AIDS prevention and control program was presented as a model of good governance practices during a forum organized by the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and attended by multi-stakeholders from various parts of the country and even representatives from the international community in Manila Tuesday.

Mayor Celso Lobregat made a 20-minute presentation during the Health and Local Governance Session of the Second Forum on Children and urban Environment which was intended to document good practices in working with and for urban children with the view of providing inputs to the Country Programme Action Plan for 2012-2016 between the government of the Philippines and UNICEF.

Held in partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government and the Institute of Philippine Culture (IPC), School of Sciences of the Ateneo de Manila University, the 2-day forum also provided inputs in the design of an urban strategy particular to children and young people as well as inputs to the “Safe and Friendly Cities for All” joint initiative by UNICEF, UN Women and UN Habitat.

UNICEF Country Representative Vanessa Tobins, DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo and IPC Director Czarina Saloma-Akpedonu invited Mayor Lobregat to share to the participants the city’s good practices on HIV-AIDS Control, which they described as one of Zamboanga’s good governance practices.

In his 20-minute presentation at the Leong Hall of the Ateneo de Manila University, Mayor Lobregat cited the city government’s efforts and initiatives in combating HIV-AIDS as well as the various parameters that attribute to the unique and distinct practices and experiences of Zamboanga in stemming the disease.

Primarily implemented by the City Health Office under Dr. Rodel Agbulos, the city’s HIV-AIDS program is sustained because of a functional Local AIDS council called the Zamboanga City Multi-Sectoral AIDS Council (ZCMSAC) to oversee and coordinate the activities of the program; committed local champions; active advocacy program; city ordinance (Ordinance 234 that institutionalizes the creation of the ZCMSAC) and the presence of a social hygiene clinic.

The multi-sectoral response has yielded positive results most important of which is the maintenance of HIV-AIDS prevalence rate of less than 1%, according to Mayor Lobregat in his presentation.

The ZCMSAC was created through Ordinance 234 in 2001 during the time of the late Mayor Maria Clara Lobregat. The AIDS Council functions as the policymaking body and as program implementors. It is chaired by the City Mayor with the City Health Officer as the chief executive officer. The members come from various sectors both from the LGU and NGO which include the Sangguniang Panlungsod, Medical, Civic Clubs, education, media, youth, business and labor, religious and gay sectors.
The forum, held from Aug. 23-24 at the ADMU was keynoted by Sec. Robredo. — Sheila Covarrubias