Implementing Agency

City Government of Tuguegarao

Year Implemented

2018-Present

Themes

Digitization & New Technologies, Perspectives on Productivity, Governance, and Development

General Description

The Tuguegarao City Command Center is a monitoring center with a centralized communication system equipped with state-of-the-art ICT solutions and facilities that can respond to incidents and emergencies 24/7.

The Command Center is manned by the city’s Rescue Team and representatives from the Traffic Management Group, Public Safety and Security Office, the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Background and Problem

Being the catch basin of waters surrounding the Cagayan Valley, Tuguegarao City is extremely prone to flood and is mapped as one of the most vulnerable to natural hazard-triggered disasters in the region (Philippine Information Agency, 2011). The Natural Hazards Risk Atlas 2015 also reports the city as second among the 10 most at-risk to natural hazards globally. On top of these issues, disseminating warnings and relaying calls for assistance in the area have been a persistent challenge given their lack of a centralized communication and emergency response system. To mitigate the risks, the city government established the Tuguegarao City Command Center in 2018.

Solution and Impact

Built under the leadership of Hon. Atty. Jefferson Pattaui, through Executive Order No. 28-2018, the Tuguegarao City Command Center was built to help ensure safety and emergency preparedness in the city, not only for natural hazard-triggered disasters but for accidents and man-made disasters as well. Among its services are police assistance, hospital care, fire suppression, and search-and-rescue services.

Specifically, the Command Center aims “to gather and process all information required to manage and control all types of incidents efficiently and effectively for the safety and protection of the communities and properties [through] communication and collaboration with the PNP, BFP, Rescue 1111, barangay officials, and other concerned agencies.”

To achieve this goal, the Command Center was built with a fiber optic-wide aerial network and its own hotline. It maintains 117 high-definition bullet-type PTZ (Pan, Tilt, and Z) closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed strategically in all 49 barangays of the city. The cameras are also equipped with facial recognition technology and night vision allowing for clear videos even in low light conditions. This feature also enables their staff to do round-the-clock monitoring of the city and access to recordings of all incidents.

Since its establishment in 2018, there has been a substantial increase in the number of calls. From the annually reported 3,123 calls received in 2018, it has increased to a total of 15,417 calls received in 2019. The 500% increase could be due to the residents’ growing confidence with the project.

Records also show an increase in the number of incidents responded to, from 6,628 in 2020 to 31,922 as of November 2021. Moreover, the systematic communication process of the command center has also decreased the response time to 3 minutes or even lower. Notably, the quickest recorded response time to date is 1 minute and 18 seconds—from calling the hotline to the touchdown of the responder in the incident area. These statistics can also indicate a growing efficiency and effectiveness to its implementation.

The Tuguegarao City Command Center continues to evolve and develop its services even during the pandemic and it ensures that its personnel complies with the protocols set by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements.

The innovative Tuguegarao City Command Center has the following notable features:
Dispatch System

The Command Center utilizes a dashboard system that maintains records of incidents responded to, which also provides the footage and time response. Reports are classified according to type and are searchable by keywords for easier retrieval. Any related documents may be requested and accessed in less than a minute. The dashboard system caters to all kinds of incidents, including COVID-19 vaccination calls. Residents may also contact the City Command Center for COVID-19 and vaccination concerns.

Footage Request

The management of the control center also allows citizens to request access to available footage subject to existing data privacy laws. While clients, upon their request, are allowed to view CCTV footage for valid reasons, recording, and copying of the footage are not permitted. Before being allowed access, concerned parties are required to submit a blotter report for the request to be approved. Footages are stored in the CCTV room with restricted access even among command center personnel. The data captured by the CCTVs are automatically deleted after 30 days unless they are to be retained for legal purposes. The management of the Command Center strictly observes the delicate balance between public welfare and the right to privacy. With the provision of high definition footage, the center resolved various incidents such as recovery of lost items, resolving traffic accidents, and other criminal cases in the city.

Wifi Ko, Wifi Mo

Along with the development of the Command Center, the city administration managed to provide fast, reliable, and free internet access to the city residents. There are 101 access points installed in 57 locations, including schools, government offices, barangay halls, and other public spaces.

Live Traffic Update and Analysis

The distribution of the local internet connection around the city has also made live traffic updates easily accessible via Facebook and Messenger from 5:15 PM onwards. Moreover, the command center also utilizes intelligent video analytic software to monitor and manage pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the city’s main roads, intersections, entry and exit points, as well as populated areas such as government buildings, public markets, school zones, and church premises. And together with the live traffic advisory, this helps ease the city’s traffic situation, having reportedly reduced travel time by 50%, and it also enables those on the road to make informed decisions about their commute.

Flood monitoring

Through its high-definition CCTVs and 24/7 live monitoring, the Command Center also provides real-time water level alerts and updates of the Buntun Bridge and Pinacanauan Rivers to all barangay captains, the City Disaster Reduction and Management Office (CDRMO), and other concerned authorities in times of possible flooding. This function reduces property losses by timely operation of flood control and measures, especially in low-lying areas. In addition, real-time updates help avoid the spread of fake news; previously, in an incident where 45 out of 49 barangays were flooded, the Buntun Bridge was claimed to be no longer passable when in fact, it still was. But with the current communication system, the information delivered became accurate.

Tuguegarao City Online Checkpoint Registration

Online Checkpoint Registration (OCR) is a travel management tool designed to cater to travelers or visitors entering the city. Created at the surge of COVID-19 cases in the city, it was immediately used after the IATF announced the removal of checkpoints and mandatory 14-day quarantine nationwide. This system aims to contact-trace and monitor individuals entering the city’s vicinity. It is the first online system developed in the country and was implemented before the S-PASS was introduced. Details required in the form include one’s place of origin, barangay of destination, contact number, date of arrival, health declaration, and purpose of visit. In total, it has recorded 15,641 registrants since April 2021, including locals who went home to Tuguegarao City. Watermarked OCR receipts are sent via email after successfully filling out the form.

Contact Tracing Diagram Report

A contact tracing center was formed at the city Command Center as another initiative in response to the pandemic. The office came up with its own format of report featuring a contact tracing diagram that focuses on visual data of all possible cases and their close contacts. It also provides a shareable Google map showing all possible cases in the vicinity.

Milestones

Tuguegarao City recorded zero casualties when Typhoon Ompong happened in 2018 and after a flooding on 6 December 2019 that affected 56,387 people. The last onslaught of a mega-flood occurred in the city last November 2020. While it damaged several properties and affected more than a hundred thousand people, only two casualties were recorded.

On the other hand, reports showed a decrease in the crime rate from the monthly average of 42 in 2017 to 39 in 2019. Relatively, time response and solution efficiency increased from 47.27% (2017) to 79.92% (2019), to 86.05% (2020), and 90.48% as of December 2021.

In light of the successful implementation of its services, the Command Center has also been attributed in increasing the confidence of the city’s prospective investors. As a result, the city’s business and investment climate has since improved.

The Tuguegarao City Command Center championed the “Best in LGU Empowerment” (City Level) in the last 2020 Digital Governance Award (G2C). Similarly, “Wifi ko, Wifi mo” was also nationally recognized with its nomination for the “Best in Customer Empowerment Award” (City Level) in the same event.

“The Tuguegarao City Command Center has become a source of pride for the people. It was recognized as one of the city’s best practices, which the other neighboring cities are starting to emulate,” said Mr. Angelo Suyu, former head of the Command Center.

To further expand its services, the city government also plans to create a mobile command center to help ensure the delivery of services even to areas that are hardly reached by CCTV cameras and big events such as festivals. The said mobile command center is envisioned to become a bus, trailer, or van that will be used exactly like the main workspace. Likewise, it will be thoroughly equipped with industry-standard technology using GPS drone technology.

Sources

Banguilan, Jeanette; Buslig, Rhea-Lou; Lemmao, Aprilyn, (2018, February). The Compliance of Tuguegarao City in the Disaster Risk Reduction Management Law. International Journal of Advanced Research Management and Social Sciences, Vol. 7 No.2. Retrieved December 20, 2021, from https://garph.co.uk/IJARMSS/Feb2018/14.pdf.

Tuguegarao City Command Center. (2022, May 2) Live Traffic Updates [Video]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/tugueC5

Tuguegarao City Local Government. (2020, December 11). Digital Governance Award: Command Center [Video]. https://tuguegaraocity.gov.ph/

Tuguegarao City. (2022, April 21). Tuguegarao City [Video]. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/1231460139/videos/pcb.2247889662030885/704361173936077

Philippine News Agency. (2020, 24 November). Local execs propose measures to lower Cagayan’s disaster risk. https://www.preventionweb.net/news/philippines-tuguegarao-city-organizes-disaster-management-council

Natural Hazards Risk Atlas. (2015, 4 March). Which cities are most exposed to natural hazards? https://www.maplecroft.com/insights/analysis/which-cities-are-most-exposed-to-natural-hazards/

Photos and Videos

Tuguegarao City Command Center monitors all areas of the city through its high-definition CCTV cameras.
Tuguegarao City Online Checkpoint Registration form is accessible online through https://bit.ly/TugueOCR.
Live traffic updates are available daily through the Tuguegarao City Command Center’s Facebook page.
The dashboard system by the command center provides access to necessary information related to incident reports.
Live monitoring footage of Tuguegarao City Command Center on one of its public markets that are publicly viewable through its Facebook page.
Hotline Directory of Tuguegarao City Command Center is provided through its Facebook page.

Organization

Pangasinan State University

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Strategy, Citizens / Customers

Year Implemented

July 2020

This is a GBPR entry

Summary

Due to the current pandemic, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) advised Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to adopt the flexible learning strategy. As a response, Pangasinan State University (PSU) administration partnered with local government units (LGUs) to establish PSU-LGU ICT Konek, a learning space with an internet connection to students of PSU within the locality could avail. This project was able to support around 1,000 students through the establishment of 37 centers distributed across 26 municipalities.

Background and Problem

The Commission on Higher Education (CHED) released seven CHED-COVID advisories containing guidelines for effectively implementing the academic operations of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, CHED COVID Advisory No. 7, released on 24 May 2020, contained the instruction for all HEIs to adopt the flexible learning strategy in delivering instruction by ensuring appropriate (1) Facility Delivery System, (2) Faculty Complement, and (3) Student Support. Further, the guidelines also encouraged HEIs to maximize the use of technology to support teaching and learning. The advisory suggested actions such as the determination of the level of technology to be used for the delivery of programs based on the connectivity of the students, the establishment of a multi-media or learning resource center to provide support to faculty in the development of IT-enabled or IT mediated instructional materials, utilization or access of available open educational resources, and the utilization of a learning management system.

The City Government of Urdaneta providing the necessary space and internet connection needed by the students for the PSU-LGU ICT Konek.

Solution and Impact

Initially, they surveyed the students’ needs regarding adopting the flexible learning modality. Their survey showed that the majority of their students had problems with internet connectivity and the availability of gadgets.

As a response, the PSU administration came up with a proposal to partner with local government units (LGUs) in establishing a learning space with an internet connection to which students of PSU within the locality could avail. The project was later named PSU-LGU ICT Konek- a Bayanihan project co-implemented by the university and the LGUs, in response to the national government’s call to “Heal as One.”

With 37 ICT “Konek centers” in 26 municipalities, about a thousand students could use the learning spaces to attend to the requirements of flexible learning. The LGUs provided the project’s physical structure (learning space), while PSU provided the computers they pulled out from the computer laboratories of their different campuses. And PSU also provided the internet connection and maintenance of the Center. With the establishment of these learning spaces, students residing near the centers did not need to buy their gadgets or allot money to buy cell phone loads to participate in online learning.

Milestones

Per BOR Resolution Number 91, series 2020, the project PSU-LGU ICT Konek became an official project of the university. Through the campus extension coordinators, the university visited various municipalities and discussed the details of the project. Afterward, the Memoranda of Agreement were fortified to make the project an official joint project of both PSU and the LGUs.

Organization

Ifugao State University (IFSU) Ifugao Rice Terraces as Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System Research and Development Center

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Strategy, Citizens / Customers

Year Implemented

July 2019-Present

This is a GBPR entry

Summary

In recent years, indigenous peoples in the Philippines have experienced discrimination in textbooks produced by the Department of Education. In particular, Ifugao youth are losing interest in continuing their cultures and traditions. So, through the collaboration of Ifugao State University (IFSU) with many local and international organizations, they initiated a program around creating learning materials for junior and senior high schools in Ifugao.

Background and Problem

In recent years, indigenous peoples in the Philippines have experienced discrimination in textbooks produced by the Department of Education. Specifically, there have been textbooks that depict indigenous people as backward, uncivilized, and uneducated. These types of content contribute to the long history of discrimination against indigenous peoples, not just in the Philippines but even across the globe.

Notably, research has also shown that the Ifugao youth, in particular, are losing interest in continuing their cultures and traditions, and this discrimination is just one of many factors contributing to this. It has been evident that most young Ifugaos prefer to move out from their communities and find work elsewhere. This exodus of young Ifugaos contributes to the degradation of the Ifugao heritage.

Solution and Impact

Through the collaboration of Ifugao State Universityhttps (IFSU), Department of Education-Ifugao (DepEd-Ifugao), Save the Ifugao Terraces Movement (SITMo), Gohang National High School in Banaue, Knowledge Holders under the Ifugao Indigenous Educators Training Program, the Center for Taiwan-Philippines Indigenous Knowledge and Local Knowledge and Sustainable Studies (CTPILS), a program was created.

One of the program’s components was about creating learning materials. So far, the program has developed and produced at least 40 contextualized indigenous learning materials for junior and senior high schools in Ifugao. These learning materials were locally developed and carefully crafted to contain appropriate content for Ifugao schools. In particular, the contextualized materials contain a range of learning topics; Ifugao biodiversity, rice terraces, music and dances, gender roles, and heritage sites.

These were also validated on different levels by indigenous knowledge holders, education supervisors, and curriculum experts, and they were also quality assured by the DepEd Ifugao. Notably, research has shown that contextualized indigenous learning materials are considered one of the more important platforms in promoting and conserving the rich indigenous knowledge, systems, and practices (IKSP) among school children.

As of writing, twelve of the contextualized learning materials are in the process of copyright with the National Library of the Philippines. Moreover, these materials are being used by teachers in delivering their “Alternative Delivery Mode” to introduce IKSP among the students. As per Senate Bill No.3220, alternative delivery mode refers to the nontraditional education program recognized by the DepED, which applies a flexible learning philosophy and a curricular delivery program that includes non-formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills.

Milestones

  1. Development and Production of 40 Contextualized Learning Materials on:
    • Ifugao biodiversity
    • Music and dances
    • Ifugao values
    • Gender roles
    • Heritage sites
    • Ifugao traditions and practices
  2. Copyright of 12 Contextualized Learning Materials
  3. Upcoming 20 additional IKSP Learning Materials
  4. Continuing copyright of the learning materials
  5. Sharing of these learnings

Organization

Municipal Government of General Luna, Quezon

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Leadership, Strategy, Citizens/Customers

Year Implemented

April 2020 – present

This is a GBPR entry

Summary

Ang Ligtas Gutom program ng Pamahalaang Bayan ng General Luna ay may adhikaing serbisyo na may puso sa mga naapektuhang negosyo dulot ng banta ng COVID-19. Sa pamamagitan ng Pautang na May Puso, Pautang na Walang Tubo, patuloy ang pagtugon sa mga pangangailangan ng mamamayang Heneralunahin.

Background and Problem

Magmula ng magkaroon ng kinatatakutang pandemya dulot ng COVID-19 ay nagsimula rin ang Pamahalaang Bayan ng Heneral Luna sa pagbibigay ng naaangkop na programa, at isa na ang Ligtas Gutom Program na pagpapautang sa mga business establishments upang patuloy na maibigay sa mamamayan ang kanilang mga pangunahing pangangailangan.

Solution and Impact

Sa pamamagitan ng Ligtas Gutom Program – Pautang na May Puso, Pautang na Walang Tubo ng bayan ng General Luna sa Quezon ay patuloy ang mga business establishments upang matugunan mga pangunahing pangangailangan ng mga mamamayang Heneralunahin sa kabila ng pandemya. Hanggang sa kasalukuyan naman ay patuloy pa ring umiikot ang programang ito.

Milestone

The DILG Region IV-A CALABARZON has recognized the Ligtas Gutom Program as 1st Place in the first Sagisag ng Pag-Asa Awards.

Organization

National Home Mortgage Finance Corporation

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Strategy, Citizens, Customers, Operations

Year Implemented

26 October 2020

This is a GBPR entry

Summary

The Online Housing Fair 2020 is the first online public housing fair conducted by a key shelter agency initiated by the Acquired Asset Division, Asset Management Department, and the Fund and Asset Management Group. This is a collaborative project with the Information Systems and Technical Support Division. Despite the varying community quarantine restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHMFC continued to deliver its service to the people and use information and communications technology to reach its clientele better.

Background and Problem

The corporation is conducting an annual housing fair to sell properties acquired through foreclosures. This initiative is intended to ensure the corporation’s assets are performing at an above-average collection efficiency rate. Before COVID-19, they conducted the housing fair face to face in the corporation’s head office or other venues. The community quarantine restrictions and health protocols hindered the corporation from conducting a housing fair.

Screenshot of the Online Housing Fair streamed on the NHMFC Facebook Page last 20 November 2020.

Solution and Impact

The Online Housing Fair 2020 changed the landscape of Key Shelter Agency housing fairs. At the onset of the pandemic, the housing fair team determined the migration of the event to be 100% online. With the full support of the Information Systems and Technical Support Division, they developed a fully automated housing fair program. This program covers the interactive listing of the acquired properties for sale, the registration of the participants, the submission of bids, and the automated selection of the most responsive bidder, up to the opening of the bids. The opening of bids was wrapped up twice faster than ever because bid results were generated electronically. The Online Housing Fair was interactive, contactless, seamless, and boundless nationwide. It greatly facilitated the fulfillment of NHMFC’s GCG Targets for CY 2020, specifically Strategic Measure #5–“Reduction of Non-performing Assets” and Strategic Measure #6 –“Percentage of Satisfied Individual Customers.”

The Online Housing Fair 2020 is instrumental in reducing nonperforming assets of the corporation and converting the same into performing loans that can now be eligible for asset pooling and securitization of mortgage receivables, consistent with its mandate. Moreover, the program generated a projected income of Php 12 million, contributing to income generation and reduction of nonperforming assets targets of the corporation. The Online Housing Fair 2020 also contributed to the increase in the monthly collections received by the Corporation and effectively increased the Collection Efficiency Rate (CER) performance. The generated fund under the program was channeled back to nance new housing loan receivables take-outs and help the corporation to increase the number of its mortgage receivables portfolio.

Milestones

The housing fair team was awarded a Special Recognition Award during the Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) CY 2020. The corporation’s housing fairs will now be conducted online at least once a year and more frequently moving forward.

During the height of the pandemic last year, one of the sectors greatly impacted was real estate. Everyone is trying to keep funds as liquid as possible. The housing market was down because people were not ready to purchase a home amid uncertainties. Additionally, implementing the BayanihanHeal as One Act mandated all financial institutions to offer a moratorium and grace period in mortgage payments. At the same time, interest rates were forced to go down to support the economy’s viability. It was a blessing for NHMFC that people enjoyed the housing fair in the comforts and safety of their homes. Despite the uncertainties, 101 properties were sold, and 13 were paid in cash.

Organization

National Kidney and Transplant Institute

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Leadership, Citizens / Customers, Operations

Year Implemented

March 2020

This is a GBPR entry

Summary

As the COVID Crisis Management Team was mobilized, human resource concerns, alternative work arrangements, transportation, accommodation, logistics, supply management, procurement, etc., were also addressed. Medical and surgical practices were recalibrated in such a way that the activities were suspended at the outpatient department and limited admissions to only urgent and emergency renal cases. Subsequently, “telehealth” was employed, and surgical cases resumed. Control and containment of the transmission of the disease were paramount because it is the essence of protecting immunocompromised patients. The hospital specializes in renal diseases, not pneumonia which should be the domain of the lung specialty center, but then there were renal cases who developed pneumonia, and there were severe septic pneumonia cases who went into renal failure and needed hemodialysis and even hemoperfusion. When patients come to the hospital, the first course of action is to accommodate them and take care of them the best way.

Background and Problem

Part of controlling the spread of the disease is to protect the healthcare workers and the patients of the NKTI. Another is to contain the disease and not let it spread. However, there were not enough beds and space under the roof. When there were no COVID RT-PCR tests, the hospital relied more on a high index of suspicion. Unless proven otherwise, a patient with pulmonary symptoms was tagged as a “COVID” patient at the triage. Some waited in their cars. They sit side by side in wheelchairs and lie very near each other on the stretchers without physical distancing. Others cannot be attended to immediately when incoming moribund patients must be intubated. There was no vacancy in the intensive care unit (ICU). Watchers also conglomerate and, later, become infected. Likewise, healthcare workers (HCWs) also become infected.

During the early months, COVID referral centers were also congested and not well-equipped. Networking was not effective. The gate for cars going to the Emergency Room (ER)  had to be closed as patients also occupied the supposed drop-off areas near Gate 2. Whether on dialysis or not, renal and non-renal patients just kept on coming to the hospital. Patients should be cohorted before admission to a regular room. It was impossible to cohort them until the COVID swab tests and chest x-ray was administered and the results were released. “Congestion” can look like pneumonia when patients are under-dialyzed or have missed dialysis due to a lack of transportation during lockdowns. 

The hospital’s total bed capacity is 381, but it only has an implementing bed of 302 because of the conversions made to some patient rooms to donning and doffing areas and observance of physical distancing. The ER has only 30 beds, with an extension of 14 beds. With patients under investigation (PUI), patients under monitoring (PUM) averaging, and COVID positives with a running average of 130-140 a day, they had to find a way to put a roof on the field. The ER occupies an area of almost 250 square meters. In the vicinity of the ER is a covered tunnel that separates it from a commercial bank. Across the bank is the parking lot. These areas would soon be commandeered to become the “Tent Field.” Renal patients on dialysis are urgent and emergency cases who need insertion/creation of vascular access and “troubleshooting” of their clogged vascular access. They too had to be screened before any surgery. All patients should undergo COVID testing and chest x-ray. They cannot be done in a room, which is also being used by non-COVID patients, as cross-infection should be prevented.

The National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) sets up a tent in April 2020 to serve as the receiving area for medical workers to screen possible COVID-19 patients. Photo courtesy of The STAR / Miguel de Guzman.

Solution and Impact

In front of the ER, from a mere triage, the “manger” expanded and built tents of different colors, sizes and heights. Most of these are donations. These resources were carefully managed to serve their purpose. Some donations were tents, electric fans, air-conditioner units, cot beds cushions, ventilators, and medical and surgical supplies. They built a “Tent Field Hospital” for COVID and retrofitted “Hotzones,” harnessing the art and science of engineering, the highlights of which included the provision for laminar airflow, negative pressure, elevated floorings, air-conditioning, installation of exhausts, electrical and water sewer lines, local area network, and oxygen supply.  The number of tents increased, rapidly occupying the tunnel, the parking lot, towards Gate 2, and almost encroaching East Avenue. There were tents for cohorting patients, pediatric patients, a makeshift ICU, hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis stations, watchers, a radiology tent with an ultrasound and x-ray machine, and a satellite operating room. As part of the emergency response, the Eden field (formerly occupied by an illegal establishment), a modular COVID hemodialysis facility was built.

The second floor of the main hospital was retrofitted to modify air exchanges in preparation for more admitting patients. Four wings compose the main building: Units 2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D, the 2B and the 2C extensions – comprising the 80-bed hot zone. In these areas, acrylic curtains were installed. 2A was occupied by patients with negative (-) RT-PCR but with pneumonia, suspicious of COVID. 2B to 2D were occupied by positive (+) RT-PCR patients with increasing severity of pneumonia. 2C was dedicated to isolation rooms for HCW, and 2B extension became a 4-station COVID dialysis room. In-patient dialysis stations were converted to outpatient COVID patients who free-standing dialysis centers refused. Four beds at the ICU were dedicated to critical COVID cases. During a COVID surge, the Gymnasium had to be converted into a  COVID ward consisting of 30 beds with strict observance of the required distancing.

Because of this extraordinary measure, more patients were managed optimally, physically, and medically. Even during the second surge, NKTI was well-armed. The COVID Manual, with its guidelines, underwent a second edition. The NKTI “Contingency Plan for COVID Surge” was crafted and will apply to any infectious disease.

Milestones

The NKTI management started creating the COVID Crisis Management Team and simultaneously modified the physical set-up of the hospital as early as March 2020. Controls were provided as regards the ingress and egress of persons in the hospital. Ancillary support services include free accommodation, meals, and transportation to healthcare workers. The main thrust of the NKTI management is to be resilient and not to suspend hospital operations since most NKTI patients are chronic and require lifetime treatment, e.g., patients under dialysis. A COVID RT-PCR was also built, eventually accredited by the DOH. A modular COVID HD was also built alongside facility conversions, such as patient units and the gymnasium.

Organization

National Kidney and Transplant Institute

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Leadership, Citizens / Customers, Operations

Year Implemented

July 2021

This is a GBPR entry

Summary

The NKTI COVID Modular Hemodialysis (HD) unit was established to address the shortage of HD centers in NCR capable of accommodating COVID confirmed End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) cases. The need for an HD facility for COVID-positive outpatients only was recognized. It was carefully planned to provide safe HD in an infection-controlled environment. It was designed with individual patient cubicles for HD, donning and doffing areas for personal protective equipment, shower rooms for staff, and separate entrance and exit areas. This became the 20-station NKTI COVID Modular HD Unit, built by the DPWH at no cost to the NKTI. This was part of the “whole government approach” in dealing with the pandemic’s challenges. The facility was inaugurated on May 5, 2021, the first in the country. This facility provided the breathing space for the main hospital’s HD Unit that went back to delivering urgent HD support for admitted and ER patients.

Background and Problem

With the COVID pandemic kickoff in March 2020, HD centers in the NCR saw a steady increase in the number of COVID cases and suspects among their prevalent dialysis patients. The inadequacy of the available personal protective equipment (PPEs), isolation rooms, proper air exchanges/ventilation in most HD centers; the uncertainty of the course and treatment of the disease early in the pandemic; and then, coupled later, with staff resignation (specific nurses) primarily due to fear and fatigue, led to the inability or refusal of these dialysis centers to accommodate their patients who became COVID suspects or confirmed cases. These patients missed their regular HD sessions, developed congestion and uremia and scouted far and wide for HD centers that temporarily accommodate them while battling SARSCOV2 lest they face mortality. Many of them found themselves knocking on the doors of the NKTI ER and NKTI HD Unit. These displaced non-NKTI ESKD patients who were eventually accommodated by NKTI significantly outnumbered NKTI’s regular HD patients.

The NKTI put up about 26 tents for its HD unit all over its Emergency Room parking areas and driveways to serve 100 covid suspects and confirmed patients while the hospital was retrofitting its wards to accept patients with this infectious virus while keeping the HCWs safe. There were 3 HD tents with about 19 HD machines and several portable reverse osmosis machines for water treatment. When the rainy season came, these tents were slowly dismantled, and patients were transferred to the main hospital. Patients requiring HD from the ER and hospital wards were all accommodated in the main hospital’s HD Unit. With the increase in COVID patients coming to the NKTI, the main hospital’s HD Unit became overwhelmed. HD treatment times were shortened to enable all patients to undergo HD on their scheduled date, with some patients experiencing delays of up to 24 hours. Additional temporary HD stations were placed on the hospital’s 3rd floor and another on the transplant floor to address this need. As patients recovered from COVID, they needed to have a negative COVID RT-PCR test before re-acceptance to their chronic HD facility for non-COVID patients. COVID-recovered patients needed up to 3 weeks of quarantine before returning to their HD facilities. The need for a separate facility to dialyze these patients.

The Department of Public Works and Highways has formally turned-over on last 5 May 2021 the first off-site modular hemodialysis facility completed at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI).

Solution and Impact

The permanent solution was building a separate HD facility for COVID patients. This would relieve the burden on the hospital’s main HD Unit in dialyzing COVID-recovering patients or those still in quarantine since their original HD facilities will not accept them. A separate HD facility for COVID patients would allow the main HD Unit to dialyze only critical patients admitted or at the ER rather than squeeze dialyzing even recovered outpatients. NKTI’s top management consulted with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to see if they could build this facility for the NKTI at the soonest possible time to address this urgent need. Both agencies agreed to assist the Institute, and NKTI allocated space for this facility. It took several weeks of planning with NKTI’s HD Leaders for the specifications of HD provision, discussions with the Infection and Prevention and Control Unit to ensure that the building specifications met the safety requirements for treating COVID patients, and meetings with the NKTI general services division.

The government-to-government mode of procurement under the COVID emergency allowed immediate construction of the facility. The NKTI went through the bidding process for the provision of HD services for one year, which was successfully awarded. On 5 May 2021, building turnover to NKTI was done by DPWH in simple rites at the facility attended by the Mayor of Quezon City, Secretaries of the Departments of Health, DPWH, and IATF. This project was another first for NKTI and the country, where a separate HD facility for COVID patients was built. Many hospitals were given additional HD machines for their COVID patients, but this is the first HD facility constructed for only COVID patients.

The NKTI COVID Modular HD unit has resulted in numerous benefits. An ideal facility with isolation rooms for every patient, adequate air exchanges and areas for donning and doffing for PPE, including shower areas for the staff, and separate entrance and exit areas in this 20-HD station facility was met with satisfied patients and HCWs. A separate adjacent dormitory was also built, and HCWs on regular duty at the COVID modular HD facility were provided rooms. COVID-recovering patients from all over NCR now have a facility of their own. No patient is left without a place to have this lifesaving treatment. The provision of dialysis has been NKTI’s core service, and no stone is left unturned for NKTI to deliver this promise to its patients with ESKD. This project was a very successful example of the government working together for the common purpose of serving the dialysis population.

Milestones

Efforts to completely and effectively cohort COVID suspects and confirmed cases eventually led to establishing the country’s biggest and most ideal dedicated outpatient COVID HD unit. This is the NKTI COVID Modular HD unit with its clearly defined COVID protocols. It has twenty (20) HD stations that can run a maximum of four (4) shifts per day. It can cater to a maximum of eighty (80) patients daily. This facility addressed the HD needs of many COVID ESKD patients in the NCR.

There were two parallel activities required to operate this facility:

  1. Construction of the HD facility via government-to-government procurement; and
  2. Procurement of the HD services for this facility for one year.

These activities were simultaneously done due to the immediate demand for a facility for the increasing number of COVID renal patients. The facility started its operations in July 2021.

Organization

Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Strategy, Citizens, Customers, Operations

Year Implemented

June 2020 to present

This is a GBPR entry

Summary

The NEUST College of Public Administration and Disaster Management launched the “Plant Plant Plant Against COVID-19 Program.” Ninety seedlings of eggplants were initially planted in two plant boxes within the NEUST-General Tinio Street Campus. Taken from the Department of Agriculture’s urban gardening program, the initiative aims to spread hope that a patch of greenery can turn into a healthy lifestyle. With this initiative, the College and FSU aim to encourage others to grow their garden and plant idle lands and pots with edible or ornamental plants. Turning fruit peels into compost and seeing plants growing from barren lands are calming and rewarding. The institution’s minuscule contribution to food production can have a lasting effect.

Background and Problem

The pandemic has undoubtedly affected the lives of many. The movement was restricted to prevent the spread of the contagion. People were discouraged from going outside as it increases the risk of acquiring the virus. People could go to the market and grocery stores to buy essential goods. Still, the prolonged stay-at-home arrangement made some people feel frustrated about the situation, even causing depression.

To promote mental health and support the Department of Agriculture’s call for a concerted effort toward ensuring food sufficiency and sustainability, the College launched the “Plant, Plant, Plant, Plant against COVID-19 Program.” Ninety seedlings of eggplants were planted in a vacant plant box near the school premises. The seedlings were taken care of by the faculty. Taking care of plants became a mental relaxation technique for the faculty and residents.

The program also encountered challenges concerning improper waste disposal since the community has been used to throwing sachets, plastic bottles, and trash in the area. This problem was addressed by initiating a clean-up drive.

The flourishing urban vegetable garden of the College of Public Administration and Disaster Management and NEUST-Faculty and Staff Union.

Solution and Impact

The College initiated a clean-up drive to maximize the vacant lot’s use and turn the dumpsite into a garden. The faculty removed the debris, concrete, and garbage piles to prepare the space. The area formerly catered to food stalls, and when they relocated, the site was converted into a dump site. The team sought permission to turn the spot into an urban garden. The team tilled the land and planted more seedlings. Aside from eggplant, seedlings of okra, red and green chili peppers, squash, ampalaya, and papaya were planted therein. Not long ago, community members were also encouraged to plant seedlings in pots and in their backyards.

Milestones

A program was initiated to address mental health and promote backyard and urban gardening, turning a dumpsite into an urban garden. The Municipal Agriculture Office of Sta. Rosa donated seedlings of eggplant and chili. The barangay officials offered help cleaning up the debris. The student council also donated funds to purchase nets and bamboo fences.

Tricycle drivers, joggers, construction workers, guards, vendors, and others were encouraged to plant vegetables in their backyard. The dumpsite was turned into a vegetable garden, and the community benefited. The initiative encouraged the community to manage solid waste and throw garbage in the right bin.

Organization

Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Strategy, Citizens / Customers Operations

Year Implemented

March 2020 to present

This is a GBPR Entry

Summary

The NEUST Bayanihan Para sa Bayan, as the term suggests, is the product of the collaborative efforts of different stakeholders to ensure continuity of education and continuous delivery of services amidst the pandemic. The nominated best practice is the result of the collaborative efforts of the nominee, the community, and other partners and stakeholders during the pandemic. The activities cover March 2020, when the World Health Organization declared the pandemic, and Community Quarantines were implemented over the entire Philippine archipelago.

Background and Problem

The spread of the COVID-19 virus and the imposition of Community Quarantines have indeed put additional challenges to the many aspects of the daily lives of people and the operations of every institution. During these difficult times, the College of Public Administration and Disaster Management (CPDAM) took an active role in ensuring a successful response to COVID-19, providing a stream of actions at the institutional and community level.

One of the immediate challenges confronting the institution and perhaps other academic institutions is ensuring continuity of learning while promoting the safety and well-being of the students. While the pandemic has exposed the inadequacy of public education and the glaring digital divide, the College managed to continuously provide services to the students and its other clientele, including the Indigenous Peoples (IPS), whom the College supports in their pursuit of self-determination.

Face masks and face shields were distributed to the frontliners of hospitals and barangays.

Solution and Impact

The first initiative is the decision to undertake preemptive measures to help contain the spread of the contagion, at least at the College level. The students were briefed about the following actions, and their parents and guardians were involved in the planning and decision-making. Students were then involved in disseminating information on what COVID-19 is, how it is transmitted, what preventive measures must be implemented, and the recent rules and policies that must be adhered to. In this way, the students gained further familiarity with the current events while raising awareness among readers, social media users, and fellow learners.

To ensure continuity of learning during the quarantine period, where limited movement is imposed to prevent the virus transmission, the College transitioned and assisted the students in adjusting from traditional face-to-face classes to remote learning. It even considered the students’ need for a digital device, which is crucial to cope with the new learning modality. The College, through its extension arm, the Center for Indigenous Peoples Education (CIPE), and donations from donors, provided brand new tablets to deserving IP Students. The faculty even went to the Indigenous Cultural Community of Carranglan in Nueva Ecija to install Wi-Fi for the IP Students.

Aside from education, the College, through the CIPE, continued with its Fingerlings Distribution program, where the IP families were given fingerlings of tilapia, gurami, and ulang to serve as additional sources of livelihood. This was made possible through the partnership between the Center and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Munoz. All these are aimed at maximizing resources and ensuring that services will be delivered amidst the pandemic. The College hopes to significantly extend the same or similar projects and services to the community even after the pandemic to benefit students and IP communities.

Milestones

The preemptive measures against virus transmission, the involvement of the parents in the decision-making regarding their children’s education, the continuity of learning, the heightened awareness regarding the modes of transmission, and the preventive measures against the spread of COVID-19 were considered milestones.

Other milestones of the projects were the following:

  • Has encouraged the students to remain vigilant and to practice safety and health measures at all times;
  • Production of 415 pieces of face masks and 460 pieces of the DIY face shields distributed to the frontliners of hospitals and barangays;
  • Promoted positive mental health through planting vegetables and provision of vegetable seedlings;
  • Production of instructional materials in the form of modules for the students;
  • Partnership with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples-Nueva Ecija Provincial Office for the distribution and delivery of modules to students;
  • Fingerlings given to ninety (90) families from the Kalanguya ICC and 54 IP families from Gabaldon.

Organization

Department of the Interior and Local Government

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Leadership Strategy Citizens / Customers

Year Implemented

14 August 2021

This is a GBPR Entry

Summary

In view of the critical importance of information and advocacy amidst the COVID-19 health crisis, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Department of Health (DOH) have merged the DILG’s “Disiplina Muna” national advocacy campaign and the DOH’s “BIDA Solusyon sa COVID-19” into a common advocacy campaign dubbed as “BIDA ang May Disiplina: Solusyon sa COVID-19”.

The joint campaign emphasizes the significance of individual self-discipline and behavioral change as one solution to beat COVID-19 to secure the safety of families and the nation; thus, the slogan, “Ligtas ang Pamilya, Ligtas ang Bayan” as enunciated in the DILG Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2020-116 dated 1 September 2020. The BIDA ang May Disiplina campaign promotes the four B.I.D.A. behaviors as each citizen’s active role in the fight against COVID-19:

B – Bawal walang mask
I – I-sanitize ang mga kamay, iwas-hawak sa mga bagay
D- Dumistansya ng isang metro; at
A- Alamin ang totoong impormasyon.

This is now upgraded to BIDA+. The plus is the addition of promoting mass vaccination against COVID-19.

Background and Problem

The Disiplina Muna national advocacy campaign is an initiative of the DILG as the Chair of the Cabinet’s Participatory Governance Cluster (PGC), which seeks to rebuild the culture of discipline among Filipinos as a means to foster people’s participation, which is one tenet of good governance.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health (DOH), on behalf of the Interagency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-EID) and in coordination with the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), launched the “BIDA Solusyon sa COVID-19” campaign which aims to encourage the Filipino people to take an active role in the fight against the common enemy: COVID-19.

The DILG and DOH have agreed to merge the Disiplina Muna advocacy campaign and the BIDA Solusyon sa COVID-19 into a common advocacy campaign dubbed “BIDA ang May Disiplina: Solusyon sa COVID-19” as stated in DILG Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2020-116 dated 1 September 2020. The “BIDA ang may Disiplina” campaign is a joint effort of the DILG and DOH brought forth to encourage people to participate in the battle against COVID-19 by living a life of discipline and earnestly practicing the minimum public health standards (MPHS) set by health authorities.

As the country continues to enforce community quarantine restrictions while balancing public health protection with the need to reopen the economy, there is a need to institute measures to promote discipline and individual responsibility among people through local legislation, which is why the campaign encourages Local Government Units (LGUs) to launch the program in their respective localities. Through the campaign, the importance of individual self-discipline and behavior change, practiced by the citizens down at the grassroots level, is also emphasized as a means to beat COVID-19 to ensure the safety of families and of the nation.

This year, the country started its National Vaccination Program shortly after the arrival of the vaccines. However, vaccine hesitancy remains an enormous challenge for the country as it continues to face the COVID-19 pandemic. With this, the BIDA ang May Disiplina campaign has also been upgraded to promote the COVID-19 vaccination program of the government as an integral part of disease prevention while still practicing the minimum public health standards (MPHS) as non-pharmacological interventions.

Solution and Impact

To prevent the further spread of COVID-19, provincial, city, municipality, and barangay sanggunians were enjoined to issue ordinances that prescribe discipline, which includes following health safety protocols like wearing of face mask in public, sanitizing hands, observing at least one-meter physical distancing, observing cough etiquette, and staying at home of children and senior citizens.

LGUs were also encouraged to organize Barangay Disiplina Brigades in each barangay in the country to drive the campaign’s core message: individual responsibility and discipline will stop the spread of COVID-19. To be composed of volunteers, barangay tanods, and other concerned residents, the Barangay Disiplina Brigades shall promote the spirit of volunteerism and ensure that the community implements the minimum public health standards (MPHS). The DILG’s nine attached agencies were also directed to incorporate the “BIDA ang May Disiplina: Solusyon sa COVID-19” campaign in their ongoing or upcoming programs, projects, and activities (PPAs) related to beating COVID-19. They also encouraged LGUs and DILG attached agencies to use their existing social media platforms to promote discipline as the new normal to beat COVID-19 by posting or sharing infographics, videos, or press releases of the Campaign.

LGUs and attached agencies have reported significant and sustained gains as they continue to champion the BIDA ang May Disiplina campaign through implementing the aforementioned initiatives.

Milestones

The national launch of the “BIDA ang May Disiplina: Solusyon sa COVID-19” campaign was conducted with the DILG National Capital Region and the City Government of Marikina on August 14, 2020 in Marikina City, led by the DILG Undersecretary Jonathan Malaya together with the DOH Secretary Dr. Francisco T. Duque III and Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro.

On 2 September 2020, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, Baguio Mayor, Contact Tracing Czar Benjamin Magalong, and Ormoc Mayor Richard Gomez guested in the virtual launch and shared how they promote discipline in their localities amid the pandemic.

The DILG also initiated partnerships with the private sector in further spreading the B.I.D.A. message. On September 16, 2020, an activity dubbed “BIDA ang May Disiplina: Harnessing Private Sector Support to Defeat COVID-19” was conducted. The event highlighted the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement with the Ad Standards Council and Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas for radio ads to support the campaign.

The event introduced the celebrity ambassadors of the campaign, namely Diether Ocampo, Jiggy Manicad, James Deakin, Paolo Bediones, and its first female champion, Regine Tolentino. The DILG and the National Youth Commission partnered with the Limitless Lab in conducting an online training dubbed “BIDA ang Kabataang May Alam at Disiplina: A Virtual Basic Orientation on Video Production” on 18 September 2020.

The half-day online webinar, participated by the Sangguniang Kabataan representatives from different regions in the country, were taught how to produce videos for social media in line with the component of the BIDA ang May Disiplina campaign to prevent fake news amid the pandemic. The DILG partnered with the National Telecommunications Commission to promote BIDA practices through public text blasts.

The DILG further rallied the support of local chief executives (LCEs) to the BIDA ang May Disiplina campaign through the designation of LCE Ambassadors of each region in the country who will advocate the same among their fellow LCEs in their regions and their constituents. Among the identified champions of the campaign named in DILG Memorandum Circular No. 2021-019 issued on 16 December 2020 are Quirino Governor Dakila Carlo Cua of Region 2 and Marinduque Governor Presbitero J. Velasco Jr. of Region 4-B.

The BIDA ang May Disiplina campaign continues to reach a wider audience through the development of TV commercials (TVCs) which feature DILG Secretary Eduardo M. Año and Disiplina Muna Ambassadors, namely public personalities Diether Ocampo, Paolo Bediones, James Deakin, Mayor Isko Moreno, Mayor Richard Gomez, and Arci Muñoz.

The TVCs are currently being aired on the Solar Learning channel and shown on LED billboards of local government units (LGUs) in Metro Manila and other parts of the country, as well as LED billboards of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and Armed Forces of the Philippines. The TVCs encourage individuals to get vaccinated as one with the national government to achieve population protection in the fight against COVID-19. The TVCs are also posted online on DILG Philippines and Disiplina Muna Facebook pages and the Kuwentuhang Lokal program in Teleradyo.