University Presidents and Chancellors of the seven founding members of the Philippine Academic Consortium for Public Health (PACPH) sign the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) establishing the Consortium during the Opening Program
With the theme “Leadership in Higher Education in Public Health in the Now Normal for Sustainable Development,” the College of Public Health celebrated its 95th founding anniversary and its 57th year as the SEAMEO Regional Centre for Public Health, Hospital Administration, Environmental and Occupational Health on March 9-10, 2022.
UP Manila Chancellor Dr. Carmencita D. Padilla (MAHPS 2005) in her message emphasized the role of CPH in providing a more dynamic and proactive leadership in advancing public health education in the Philippines and beyond with its solid achievements and contributions in teaching, research, and public service.
SEAMEO Secretariat Director Dr. Ethel Agnes Valenzuela expressed gratitude to the Philippine government, CPH, and partners for its support to SEAMEO activities geared towards improving the people’s health and quality of life through public health education and training, research, and public service. Meanwhile, Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health President Dr. Agustin Kusumayati recognized the Philippines’ efforts to organize higher education institutions offering public health.
In the same program, the Philippine Academic Consortium for Public Health (PACPH) was launched. CPH Dean, SEAMEO TROPMED Regional Centre for Public Health, Hospital Administration, Environmental and Occupational Health Director and PACPH Technical Working Group Chair Dr. Vicente Y. Belizario, Jr. explained that the PACPH was created to address the challenges in public health in the Philippines that cannot be addressed alone by the CPH.
The seven founding institutional members signed the Memorandum of Agreement to improve academic offering, research, and public service in public health; and ensure that these programs are relevant, well-aligned, and directed to attain the health-related sustainable development goals.
The day also featured the PACPH inaugural symposium with the theme, “Strengthening Higher Education Institution in Public Health in the New Normal Towards Sustainable Development.” The speakers and topics were Dr. Graham Perry Harrison, WHO Health Systems Coordinator, “Roles of HEIs in the Health-Related SDGs”; Dr. Mary Jane Botabara-Yap, Program Chair of the Graduate Public Health Department of the Adventist University of the Philippines, “Enhancing Teaching and Learning in Public Health in the Now Normal;” and Dr. Belizario, “Enhancing Research and Service in Public Health in the Now Normal.”
Public Health Research Forum
UP CPH Dean Belizario, UP CPH Officials, and guests during the Research Forum
This forum was held on the second day to discuss public health issues and interventions for sustainable development and as an opportunity to reflect on the opportunities, challenges, and lessons learned in enhancing public health research in the now normal.
Keynote speaker, DOH Undersecretary Dr. Mario Villaverde (MPH 1990), underscored the DOH’s commitment to the realization of Universal Health Care for all Filipinos. He emphasized that public health research is essential in pushing forward evidence-based policy development and decision making. Dr. Villaverde shared that the DOH is currently developing a UHC Transformative Agenda which aims to provide Filipinos with a patient-centered health system that is more adaptive, responsive, and anticipatory.
Dr. Jaime Montoya, Executive Director of Department of Science and Technology – PhIlippine Council for Health Research and Development, committed to provide an enabling environment for health research in the country, specifically towards the achievement of UHC. Dr. Sandra Tempongko (MPH 1997, DrPH, 1990), SEAMEO TROPED Deputy Director, highlighted population health science, the social determinants of health, and One Health as emerging priorities in the field of health research and cited the need to address the problem of infodemics which are particularly damaging in the now normal.
Dr. Milagros Rabe, Dean, Graduate School of the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center, stated the need for higher education institutions to collaborate in resource sharing and capacity building in order to face current and future health challenges and attain the targets set by the Sustainable Development Goals.
Finally, Dr. Yolanda Oliveros (MPH 1994), Deputy Director of the Office of Health of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), stressed that a whole-of-system, whole-of-society approach is crucial for the achievement of UHC; and that the country must invest in building locally led, resilient health systems for global health security.
UP CPH Dean Belizario, PJHRD Editor-in-Chief Dr. Carl Abelardo Antonio, UP CPH Associate Dean for Research Dr. Vivien Fe F. Fadrilan-Camacho, and Master of Ceremonies Dr. Crystal Amiel Estrada during the Launch of the PJHRD Commemorative Issue
UP CPH Alumni and Partners with key UP CPH officers in the Public Service, Alumni, and Partners Forum
The anniversary celebration concluded with the Public Service, Alumni, and Partners Forum, with the theme “Looking Within and Going Beyond: Strengthening Partnerships for Public Service.” To honor CPH's accomplishments as a SEAMEO TROPMED Center, the forum aimed to reconnect with alumni and partners, acknowledge alumni and partner support, and engage alumni and partners in collaborative initiatives for CPH. The forum was attended by partners and alumni who are based locally and abroad.
Dr. Myrna Cabotaje (MPH 1987), DOH Undersecretary and 2021 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Dr. Steven Muncy (MPH 1995, DrPH 2003), both CPH alumni, shared inspirational messages about the role of higher education institutions in public health in promoting health equity through public service. Dr. Cabotaje emphasized that education is a domain of public health action and is a critical component of health. She also highlighted education as a powerful means of breaking the cycle of poverty and promoting health equity.
On the other hand, Dr. Muncy stressed that strategic investments should result in more knowledgeable and capable individuals who are more quickly moving into leadership roles, as well as help change the “face” and thereby the relevance, of the public health sector. Their messages projected the essence of public health—being stewards of the public and continuing to care for the masses.
Raycha Lei Concess Rama, Azita Racquel Lacuna
Ma. Socorro Ignacio, Carlos Bernard Jacinto
Adrian Paul Agravante