Seminar to examine PNoy’s health agenda


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MANILA, Philippines – A journalists’ seminar from November 3 to 5 will bring together the country’s top doctors, public health policy experts, and health beat reporters to examine the universal healthcare program of the Aquino administration.

This is the second seminar jointly organized by the Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP) and Newsbreak’s foundation arm, the Journalism for Nation Building Foundation.

Usually overshadowed in the headlines, the seminar series aims to elevate the health beat as a critical coverage.

Participants represent print, online, radio and television editors and reporters covering the health department, Congress, and other beats that impact the formulation of health policies.


At least four former Department of Health (DOH) secretaries–Jaime Galvez-Tan, Alberto Romualdez, Esperanza Cabral, and Francisco Duque III–will join the seminar. In a roundtable discussion, they will share lessons they’ve learned during their administrations and offer suggestions to accomplish the Aquino Health Agenda.

A separate session by DOH undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa will also discuss the interesting proposal to use Public-Private-Partnerships, or the PPP buzzword, to boost health service delivery.

Other speakers and sessions include:

  • Philheath president and CEO Dr. Eduardo Banzon to discuss their role in the attainment of universal healthcare
  • World Health Organization country representative Dr. Soe Nyunt-U to discuss universal healthcare and why the Philippines should take notice and action
  • Food and Drug Administration chief Suzette Lazo to discuss their role in ensuring availability and access to quality medicines in the Philippines
  • University of the Philippines professor emeritus Dr. Ernesto Domingo, Dr. Eugene Ramos of the Philippine College of Physicians and Dr. Ruben Flores of the Philippine Hospital Association  to discuss the challenges facing health service delivery
  • Agence France Presse reporter Jason Gutierrez to discuss opportunities and challenges in health reporting
  • DOH Director Honorata Catibog to discuss maternal mortality reduction
  • National Statistics and Coordinating Board director Candido Astrologo, DOH chief epidemiologist Dr. Eric Tayag and Dr. Tony Dans of the Philippine General Hospital to discuss health statistics and non-communicable diseases
  • National Center for Pharmaceutical Access and Management Dr. Ivanhoe Escartin to discuss the role of PPP in the attainment of universal healthcare
  • Department of Social Welfare and Development Assistant Secretary for Operations Parisya Taraji to discuss how heath service delivery and poverty reduction go together
  • Bacolod City Rep. Tony Golez to discuss issues in legislating health and universal healthcare
  • Dr. Kenneth Hartigan Go of the AIM Zuellig Center for Asian Business Transformation will act as moderator during the three-day seminar-workshop.


As culminating activity, there will be a workshop where the participating media practitioners propose stories they intend to pursue for their organizations. Assisted by mentors, the groups will help each other improve and fine-tune their story proposals.

Five of the media practitioners with the best story proposals will be chosen as Fellows of the Journalism for Nation Building Foundation, a group of investigative journalists led by Marites Danguilan Vitug. They will receive mentoring and research grants to finish the story two weeks after the seminar.


Two award winning films from the Quesumbing-Escandor Film Festival will be among the highlights of  the seminar-workshop. The films from 65th PHAP Anniversary partner, Mu Sigma Fraternity of the UP College of Medicine, capture health realities and opportunities using the visual power of cinema.

For reference:  Please call PHAP communications manager Marian Trinidad-Pausanos at 8141808 or through 0917 8082132.

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