Signing of WHO Country Cooperation Strategy for the Philippines 2011-2016
Dr Shin Young-soo
World Health Organization Regional Director for the Western Pacific
Honourable Secretary of Health, Dr Ona
Representatives from the Department of Health, its attached agencies, and other national government agencies.
Colleagues from the UN Country team and health development partners
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good morning. (Magandang umaga)
Secretary Ona and I have just signed the WHO Country Cooperation Strategy for the Philippines for the years 2011 to 2016.
Placing our signatures on this document symbolizes the continuing close partnership between WHO and the people of the Philippines and their Government.
Let me first congratulate CCS team members from the Department of Health and the WHO Country Office and Regional Office for their excellent work in producing the CCS.
I would also like to acknowledge the vital contributions to the process from the many partners involved.
This CCS was jointly developed by WHO and the Department of Health.
The process was based on a number of factors. These included:
A systematic assessment of the Philippines' challenges and health needs.
The Government's policies.
And existing projects and programmes of other development partners.
The process involved consultations with all levels of WHO, focal people from the Department of Health, other relevant government organizations, United Nations agencies, multilateral and bilateral partners and nongovernmental organizations.
In a country like the Philippines, with a decentralized health care system, the development of the CCS called for a highly consultative process.
This led to the identification of potential areas of partnership among the different stakeholders.
As you can imagine, it was quite an enterprise.
But I can tell you that I am delighted with the end product!
As you may aware, WHO is under major reform process.
Strengthening Country Support by enhancing leadership and partnership in health while focusing WHO's work at priority area is at the heart of the Reform.
The CCS is the key tool of successful WHO Reform at country level.
This CCS is at best quality among I have seen so far in terms of prioritizing Strategic Agenda, aligning them with national agenda and harmonizing them with other development partners work.
I recognize also consultation and participation of all partners were most active and productive among CCS process in this Region so far.
The CCS will build on the successes of the Philippines in public health.
Here, I should mention two examples of heartening news.
The first is the decrease in infant mortality, where high immunization rates and management of diarrhea and pneumonia have made significant inroads.
The second is progress in malaria control.
As of 2008, only five provinces out of 79 remained highly endemic while the number of provinces declared malaria-free almost doubled to 22.
Of course, much remains to be done.
The dual burden of communicable and noncommunicable diseases remains high.
Progress in maternal health and nutrition remains slow.Out-of-pocket payments on health are high and expenditure on health is low.
CCS will be the tool to address these challenges.
It is true that health policy of the Government of the Philippines is at front line in addressing these challenges.
Health agenda of this Government namely "the Aquino Health Agenda:
Achieving Universal Health Care for All Filipinos" clearly demonstrate the Government's continuing effort towards reform.
The overall goal of the agenda is to ensure the achievement of the health system goals of better health outcomes, sustained health financing and a responsive health system by ensuring that all Filipinos, especially the disadvantaged group in the spirit of solidarity, have equitable access to affordable health care.
WHO fully support the Aquino Health Agenda.
During the next 6 years, WHO's support will focus on three strategic priorities:
Strengthening health systems to provide equitable access to quality health care, with special focus on the Millennium Development Goals and and priority non-communicable diseases;
Enabling individuals, families and communities to better manage their health and its determinants; and,
Improving the resiliency of national and local institutions against health security risks.
The Philippine Government and the World Health Organization have co-ownership of the Country Cooperation Strategy.
Through it, both partners pledge to harmonize our activities to secure the universal health care goals of better health outcomes for the people of this country, sustained health financing and a responsive health system.
It is a noble goal, and one that we are proud to be associated with.