G-Watch opens draft health reform agenda for public comments and feedback

PRO-Health or Promoting Rights Organizing for Health is a health organizing initiative of the Government Watch (G-Watch) and Accountability Research Center (ARC) in partnership with several civil society groups and local governments. PRO-Health aims to strengthen transparency, participation and accountability in public health governance by building coalitions and alliances among citizens, groups and communities around health rights issues, and by facilitating learning and problem-solving among accountability frontliners and rights defenders to come up with pro-people and bottom-up solutions to systemic barriers and hurdles to reproductive, maternal, newborn and adolescent health services.

On April 27-28 during the 2nd national learning exchange of PRO-Health, a set of health reform agenda was adopted by about 40 G-Watch leaders from all over the country based on the monitoring results that covered 255 health units and interviewed 1,364 citizen-beneficiaries and 794 health workers in 13 localities all over the country.

The reform agenda addresses the result of the ground monitoring conducted from February to November 2023 by about 200 PRO-Health volunteer-monitors. PRO-Health volunteers went through a series of processing and discussions, including problem-solving sessions with duty-bearers, to sift through the monitoring data and review of evidence to craft the nine-point PRO-Health reform agenda that aims to address the most critical gaps and barriers in the access and quality of reproductive, maternal, newborn, children, adolescent healthcare.

Until June 15, 2024, the PRO-Health Reform Agenda will be open for comments and feedback from other PRO-Health partners and volunteers and the  broader reform and development community before it gets finalized, officially transmitted to concerned duty-bearers and disseminated and advanced.

We welcome comments and feedback via government_watch [at] yahoo.com and 0917-1860298.

PRO-Health Reform Agenda (working draft for comments)

P - uphold holistic and Preventive approach to health, strengthening Primary health care, particularly those provided by community-based health units

R - increase the budget for health, especially for primary health care and Rmncah services, as well as improving efficiency and effectiveness in the use of the budget in filling-up critical gaps and needs

  • Clarifying the mandate of local governments on health spending
  • Tightening coordination and convergence of the LGU, barangays and health units in identifying and addressing needs and gaps
  •  Strengthening and clarifying mandates of the barangays on health
  • Instituting controls to avoid abuse of discretion (such as preferential treatment) and collection of fees, including in-kind in community-based health units
  • Consider sustained investment in 4Ps as support for healthcare for the poor


O - Ensure regular access to free quality basic MEDICINES by making medicines procurement, allocation and distribution more efficient and transparent and by clarifying mandates on medicines by all concerned duty-bearers from barangay to international

H - Improve the capacity and working conditions of public health workers by

  • Ensuring sufficient number of health personnel, especially dentists, doctors and sanitary inspectors, clarifying at least when they are supposed to be available in the health units
  • Clarifying the policies governing the benefits and entitlements of different types of health workers and their hiring and promotion to ensure fairness and responsiveness to an effective public health system in general
  • Providing clear guidelines in the powers of the barangays to hire and remove barangay health workers to address politization
  • Rationalizing capacity-building programs provided to health workers, improving, in particular, their capacity on citizen engagement (attitude towards citizen participation, feedback and complaints and ensuring client satisfaction)


E - Ensure availability of accessible and quality mental health services and programs by

  • Allocating sufficient budget for it
  • Ensuring that there are sufficient competent health professionals who can handle mental health cases
  • Strengthen monitoring of the situation, availability and access
  • Disseminating information about mental health programs: where to access and what are available
  • Encouraging more students to become mental health professionals


A - Strengthen the capacity of health units and communities on Awareness-raising and promoting health-seeking behavior by

  • Assessing the effectiveness of current efforts, incorporating gender lens to differentiate health-seeking behavior of women and men
  • Improving reach and proactiveness
  • Checking on what information are being made available (whether these are useful and understandable)
  • Checking on how the information are being presented
  • Improving capacity of health units to build partnerships and engage higher government offices to address issues and problems
  • Tapping 4Ps beneficiaries in supporting awareness-raising


L - Improve access of marginaLized sectors (poorest, youth, IP, women in GIDA areas, victims of VAWC, LGBTQIA+) to quality reproductive health services through

  • Effective information dissemination and broadening of clients of FP/ RH sessions
  • Setting-up of a system for access of youth to RH commodities (supervision of a health professional)
  • Strengthening role of 4Ps beneficiaries in delivery of reproductive health education


T - Develop consistent practices and mechanisms for Transparency, participation, and accountability in health units by:

  • Instituting a citizen charter that provide information on what services and health care are supposedly available where and when, and the standards that service providers must comply with
  • Improve information/ data management and practices to uphold citizen right to information, such as setting up of a transparency board and being open to citizen monitoring
  • Ensuring presence of feedback and grievance redress mechanisms at the health units
  • Incorporating a feedback mechanism for 4Ps beneficiaries as they avail health conditionalities


H - Strengthen youth-led adolescent health programs by

  • capacitating the youth, particularly the SKs, LYDO and youth-led organizations on health governance
  • Institutionalizing youth representation in the Local Health Board and other policy-making bodies taking up adolescent health