The City Government of Cagayan de Oro Assessment Department implemented several best practices to modernize its office systems, including creating an Internal Information Technology-Geographic Information System (IT-GIS) Unit. The digitization of all existing maps using the GIS made daily processes easier and quicker. The Property Assessment Information System Integrated Real Property Tax System data and GIS maps, making property verifications and ownership verification faster and more efficient. The archiving system digitized all past and existing records and documents for quick access. The document tracking system helps keep track of the status and location of clients’ transaction documents. Online platforms and tools, such as Facebook, Messenger, Google Drive, and the upcoming Assessor’s Kiosk, were also utilized to provide convenient and accessible services for clients. The main challenge was minimizing dependence on external support, which was addressed by creating the Internal IT-GIS Unit.


The main productivity challenge addressed by the Cagayan de Oro City Assessment Department’s best practices is the need to streamline and modernize their office systems. Before implementing these best practices, the department relied heavily on manual processes and outdated technology, resulting in slow and inefficient operations. By digitizing their maps and implementing GIS, the department managed to automate several processes, such as property verifications, ownership verification, and property location verification. This made daily processes quicker and easier, resulting in faster and more efficient service delivery for their clients. The creation of the Property Assessment Information System and the archiving system enhanced the department’s productivity by providing quick and easy access to past and existing records and documents. The document tracking system also helped improve productivity by keeping track of the status and location of clients’ transaction documents, reducing the likelihood of delays and errors.


The solutions implemented by the Cagayan de Oro City Assessment Department’s best practices effectively address the challenge of streamlining and modernizing their office systems. The creation of the internal IT-GIS Unit, which digitized all existing maps using GIS, allowed the department to automate several processes and make daily operations easier and quicker. This was achieved by enabling easier updates and additions of new maps, making initial assessments of previously undeclared properties without physical fieldwork, and utilizing additional computer applications for processing GIS data.

The browser-based Property Assessment Information System also integrated Real Property Tax System data and GIS maps, making property verifications and ownership verification faster and more efficient. The archiving system also allowed for quick access to past and existing records and documents, reducing time spent searching for information. The document tracking system helped improve productivity by keeping track of the status and location of clients’ transaction documents, reducing the likelihood of delays and errors.

The project’s innovative features include the Assessor’s Kiosk, which will be set up in an accessible location to provide clients with certifications, true copies of documents, and maps without the need for face-to-face interactions. This feature is particularly useful during the pandemic, as it promotes contactless transactions. Another innovative feature is the online implementation of the document tracking system, which allows clients to check the status of their transactions from their phones or computers and be notified as soon as their documents are approved and ready for release. This feature promotes convenient and accessible service delivery, which is becoming increasingly important in today’s digital age.

Productivity Gains, Outcomes, and Impact

The City Government of Cagayan de Oro Assessment Department’s best practices have resulted in measurable productivity gains and outcomes. The implementation of the GIS and other modern technology has significantly improved the speed and accuracy of the department’s operations. The digitization of all existing maps, for instance, has made it easier to update and add new ones, resulting in a more streamlined process. According to the department’s staff, this has reduced the time needed to perform such tasks by almost half, allowing them to focus on other essential work.

The Property Assessment Information System has also improved productivity by making property verifications and ownership verification faster and more efficient. According to Engr. Noel O. Moralde of the Cagayan de Oro City Assessment Department, the system has reduced the time it takes to process these tasks by up to 60 percent. Moreover, the archiving system has allowed for quick access to past and existing records and documents, reducing time spent searching for information. This has reduced the time needed to retrieve documents by up to 40 percent.

The document tracking system has also improved productivity by reducing the likelihood of delays and errors. The system has reduced the average processing time for transactions by up to 30 percent, allowing them to keep track of the status and location of clients’ transaction documents at any given time.

The positive impact of these best practices can be seen in the improved service delivery to the department’s clients, as evidenced by the reduced transaction processing times. The Assessor’s Kiosk is expected to further improve service delivery by providing clients with convenient and accessible access to essential documents and information.

Lessons Learned and Challenges in Implementing the Intervention

While the innovation led to significant improvements in the city government’s productivity and service delivery, challenges were still encountered during the implementation phase. One major challenge was the resistance to change from some employees who were used to the old ways of doing things. To address this, the department conducted training and information campaigns to emphasize the benefits of the new system and get buy-in from all staff.

Another challenge was the initial investment needed to implement the new system. This included purchasing of both hardware and software and conducting trainings. To overcome this challenge, the department allocated resources and secured funding from the local government.

There is still potential for further improvement in the system. For instance, the Property Assessment Information System could be available online to clients outside the local area network. The Assessor’s Kiosk could also be expanded to provide additional services to clients.

Overall, the best practices of the Cagayan de Oro City Assessment Department provide valuable lessons for other local governments looking to improve their productivity and service delivery. Key lessons include the importance of buy-in from all stakeholders, the need for adequate funding and resources, and the potential for continuous improvement.


Moralde, N. O. (2021, December 7). [Online interview].

Republic Act No. 7160. (1991). Local Government Code of 1991. Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines, 87(44), 10150-10223.


The Property Assessment Information System Integrated Real Property Tax System data and GIS maps, making property verifications and ownership verification faster and more efficient.
City Government of Cagayan de Oro personnel processing renewals of business permit renewals and tax assessment. Billing is now done at the kiosk in the City Treasurer’s Office.

Name of the Organization

Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rice Research Institute

Name of the Office/Unit that leads the implementation of this best practice entry

Gender and Development

Focus Area of the Best Practice

Human Resource

Date the best practice was first implemented

24 June 2016 – up to present

Summary of the Best Practice

The Department of Agriculture – Philippine Rice Research Institute (DA-PhilRice) is effectively mainstreaming gender and development (GAD). As mandated by the Magna Carta of Women (MCW) or Republic Act 9710, GAD serves as a strategy to help eliminate discrimination through the recognition, protection, fulfillment, and promotion of the rights of Filipino women, especially those belonging to the marginalized sectors of society.

In congruence with this, DA-PhilRice mainstreamed GAD in four major entry points in the gender mainstreaming framework: policies, people, enabling mechanisms, and programs/projects/activities. One unique key feature of its implementation is the firm policy and management support resulting in the issuance of several policies that aid in the institutionalization of GAD in its entire operation. Significantly, the policy on integrating gender dimensions into relevant projects and studies spelled the ‘human face’ of rice science in its implementation. In 2019, 30% of total projects were attributed to GAD,35% in 2020, and 47% in 2021. PhilRice catered to 7,863 women and 9,333 men in its development works through training since 2018, and 1,048 women and 1,519 men were reached through its Rice Competitiveness enhancement program since 2019.

Another is the customization of capacity development materials in the context of rice science for development for DA-PhilRice staff for better internalization and integration of GAD in its program, projects, and activities. These customized training materials were also instrumental in the continuity of GAD capacity-building activities despite the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, 60% of staff completed gender sensitivity training, and 70% of project/study leaders were equipped with gender analysis to ensure that we have a gender-responsive mechanism in fulfilling our mission at PhilRice.

PhilRice ensures that sex disaggregation can be easily analyzed for gender-responsive planning, monitoring, and evaluation purposes in the database management systems. This is a major enabling mechanism in mainstreaming gender in the Institute’s research and development activities.

The Challenge

Due to the lack of mechanism and capability, the DA-PhilRice management found it challenging to institutionalize GAD. Hence, it was only in 2016 that the first GAD mechanism was established, which was the creation of the GAD Focal Point System (GFPS), internally called the GAD Initiatives (GADi) team, comprised of the head of the institute as the chairperson, 1 GAD focal person/coordinator, and ten management committee members at the central office, and branch stations with one support staff as GFPS members.

Introducing GAD in the Institute was a challenging journey as this is new to the staff. Many of the team used to think that was just an additional burden and an added responsibility to them.

On the other side, it was always a struggle to ensure the sustainability of R&D projects. More often, the projects forgot to consider the needs of the clients as well as the gender and social dynamics in the target communities, which could significantly affect the adoption and sustainability of the technology. In the end, many technologies have been developed, but their desired impact on the target beneficiaries takes much work to measure.

Solution and Impact

To implement gender and development (GAD) mainstreaming in the Institute, the organization undertook four critical steps.

Initially, GAD-related policies were issued to facilitate GAD mainstreaming in all PhilRice stations. These policies include the creation of the GFPS, which leads GAD-related efforts in the institute; the creation of a Project Review and Evaluation Committee (PREC), which evaluates all project proposals to ensure GAD inclusion; other policies that create enabling GAD mechanisms; and directives to encourage staff’s participation to GAD-related activities and training. Since 2016, a total of 59 GAD-related policies have been issued by the Institute. These policies are also being adopted in all of PhilRice stations, and one critical adaptation is the creation of local GFPS, which helps ease GAD monitoring in PhilRice as a whole.

Secondly, DA-PhilRice continuously conducts capacity development activities among all staff to sensitize and educate them on GAD concepts and capacitate them on GAD mainstreaming. In line with this, more than 50 training, seminars/orientations, and workshops have been conducted in the Institute since 2017. Through these activities, the Institute managed to capacitate about 70% of all staff on gender sensitivity, gender analysis, GAD agenda, use of Harmonized Gender and Development Tools, and the importance of sex-disaggregated data, among others. Only recently, capacity development activities’ conduct was hampered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To address this, the Institute developed two customized training manuals on gender sensitivity and gender analysis implemented through online platforms (Google Classroom and Zoom) to continually capacitate the staff despite the limitations of face-to-face interactions. About 163 staff graduated with the asynchronous gender sensitivity training and 38 project leaders and GFPS members graduated with the training on gender analysis.

Another important step is the establishment of GAD-enabling mechanisms in the Institute. These include institutionalizing a sex-disaggregated database to monitor the number of beneficiaries (both women and men in various age groups and communities) reached by DA-PhilRice projects. It is also helpful in crafting specific strategies and interventions to address the client’s needs. As of 2021, about five sex-disaggregated databases are being maintained by the Institute.

A physical and online GAD corner is also established to promote GAD-related information to external and internal clients. All stations are now maintaining one physical GAD corner, and one centralized online GAD corner is housed on the DA-PhilRice website.

Gender-fair language is also promoted and applied in producing various information, communication, and education (IEC) materials. In 2021 alone, about 115 knowledge products were made and distributed to around 2.1 million stakeholders–primarily farmers and rice extension intermediaries.

Lastly, the Institute ensured that its programs, activities, and projects (PAPs) had mainstreamed GAD in its implementation. Every year, a GAD Plan and Budget are crafted to ensure PhilRice PAPs are fully responsive to the GAD mandates and gender issues it has to address. The GAD accomplishment report is also submitted at the end of every year to verify if GAD targets have been met. As mandated by law, at least 5% of the organization’s total budget should be attributed to GAD. DA-PhilRice has achieved and even surpassed this target. As of 2021, percent of GAD attribution in the institute is 38.63%.

In terms of the level of deployment, DA-PhilRice was ranked level three in gender mainstreaming based on the 2019 PCW assessment. This means that GAD-related activities are already institutionalized within the organization.


On policy, the most effective innovation is the empowerment of the management committee on GAD implementation. In other agencies, GAD matters are often left to committees where they need a firm decision and on-the-ground approach to operationalizing GAD in the context of their mandate. AtPhilRice, the management committee reviews and recommends measures to operationalize GAD in research and development activities properly. It is more than lip service or compliance. The commitment to inclusivity and gender equity is explicitly articulated in all our project documents and adequately analyzed and acted on.

Also, the creation of local GFPS across all stations through the issuance of a local memorandum adopted from the one issued in the central office. This speeds up the conduct and monitoring of GAD mainstreaming in the institute.

In terms of capacity development, by far, the most innovative strategy that PhilRice made was creating customized gender sensitivity and gender analysis training manuals. DA-PhilRice packaged this into more relatable content by tailor-fitting it to rice production and agriculture. This made GAD integration into programs, activities, and projects more accessible. In addition, the manuals were also used in asynchronous training to address the needs of time and the limitations of face-to-face interactions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

On the other hand, the most valuable and innovative strategy for creating enabling mechanisms was using online databasing to capture sex-disaggregated data (SDD). One outstanding example is the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) – Seed and Extension Program database, which records the SDD of RCEF seed recipients and training participants, including other useful information such as age, special needs/disability, affiliation to indigenous communities, among others. These data were used in developing strategies to implement the program better.

Lastly, in integrating GAD into the institute’s programs, activities, and projects, a very effective innovation was the creation of the Project Evaluation and Review Committee (PREC), which assesses all research proposals to ensure GAD integration. These results in a higher number of projects attributed to GAD and generally an increase in the institute’s total percentage of GAD attribution.

Performance & Results

Before GAD mainstreaming was institutionalized at DA-PhilRice, the program and projects of the institute did not consciously incorporate gender and development in its operations. While there might be efforts to make our projects inclusive, there was no means to measure how gender-sensitive or gender-responsive they are or how much of the institute’s budget could be attributed to GAD.

While GAD was institutionalized in 2016, its full-blast implementation only took off in 2017. Based on the annual GAD accomplishment report, from 2017 to 2021, the percentage of GAD budget attribution is increasing. In 2017, 5.36% of the total institute’s budget, or about 27.7 million, was attributed to GAD. It gradually increased to 5.76% in 2018, or 44.8 million. In 2019, it grew to 14.5% – more than twice the 2018 budget attribution – about 111.8 million. Then in 2020, GAD attribution rose to 44.33%, equivalent to 1.6 billion, almost similar to 2021’s 38.63% or around 1.4 billion. These budget figures mean that consultation, equitable participation, sex disaggregation, gender analysis, monitoring, and evaluation were properly integrated with all GAD-tagged projects to ensure equity and inclusiveness. Further, this budget attribution is evidenced by the Harmonized Gender and
Development Guidelines.

GAD mainstreaming at DA-PhilRice also created opportunities for women farmers to be reached by our development programs and projects. One of these is the Rice Business Innovations System (RiceBIS) Community Program, which conducts training on rice production, organizational building and management, and farm business school. Data shows an increasing trend of women’s participation in the said training. For rice production, women trainees comprised 41% of the total participants in 2018, 43% in 2019, 40% in 2020, and 45% in 2021. In organizational building and management, there were 45% of women participants in 2019, 39% in 2020, and 45% in 2021. Meanwhile, on farm business schools training in 2019, around 45% were women, 52% in 2020, and 56% in 2021. The RiceBIS communities have grown from 7 communities in 2017 to 23 in 2021. As a result of the rice production training conducted in RiceBIS communities, yield increases were observed from 4.37 tons per hectare in 2016 to 4.49 tons per hectare in the 2020 wet season; and from 4.67 tons per hectare in 2017 to 5.38 tons per hectare in 2021 dry season. In addition, yield loss has decreased16.46% in 2016 to 14.63% in the 2020 wet season; and from 16.47% in 2018 to 14.64% in the 2021 dry season. As of 2020, there were also 40 RiceBIS Agroenterprises venturing into brown rice and oyster mushroom, earning a total net income of Php 687,469.

Another gender-responsive program that PhilRice has is the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund Program. Since 2019 a total of 1048 women (40%) have been trained in rice production through the program. On one of its components which is seed distribution, RCEF distributed 10.29 million bags of certified seeds during 2020 to 2022 dry and wet seasons. This benefited more than 1 million rice farmers cultivating approximately 1.5 million hectares per year across its target provinces. This contributed to achieving the record-high palay output of almost 20 million metric tons in 2021. About 36% of RCEF seed beneficiaries are women, and 32% are senior citizens. Another important GAD initiative of this project is the establishment of RCEF-SMS, which monitors data on program implementation, particularly on seed positioning, inspection, distribution, and digital documentation of farmer-beneficiaries. As such, the RCEF-SMS enables age- and sex-disaggregated report generation and can capture other GAD-related information given the resolution of data collection. A gender-related analysis is used as a decision-making and policy management tool to formulate targeted interventions and improve the program’s services.


GAD mainstreaming at DA-PhilRice had been benchmarked and often used as a model in various regional and national government institutions. At the national level, GAD initiatives were benchmarked by the Department of Agriculture, the Bureau of Agricultural Research, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), among others. Even the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) recognized DA-PhilRice GAD mainstreaming efforts and often used the institute as a model organization in some GADmainstreaming initiatives in their training presentations with other institutions. At the regional level, DA-PhilRice was tapped by a local government unit to conduct GAD orientation among their staff. Local agencies also look up to DA-PhilRice as a model institution regarding GAD practices.DA-PhilRice GAD mainstreaming initiatives were showcased and recognized in the country and the international arena.

In 2021, DA-PhilRice participated in the Women Agribusiness Summit Townhall Consultation as part of the United Nations Food System Summit wherein one of the resource speakers was a woman farmer in one of DA-PhilRice agribusiness communities (one of the gender-responsive projects of the institute).

In June 2022, DA-PhilRice will be among the delegates of the 2022 Global Summit of Women held in Bangkok, Thailand. During the event, the case of PhilRice was presented as one of the best practices in public/private sector partnerships for advancing women’s economic opportunities in the agriculture sector. The entire Philippine delegation has won the Ministerial Award for the country’s presentation. Moreover, DA-PhilRice was also invited by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) to review their one CGIAR research portfolio, which includes gender equality and social inclusion as impact areas.

As a recommendation to those other institutions implementing GAD mainstreaming, we strongly recommend getting solid policy and management support and bank on increasing staff knowledge through capacity development activities. These two strategies would be great enablers to mainstream GAD in organizations successfully.

Next Steps

To ensure the sustainability of GAD mainstreaming in DA-PhilRice, the institute has put supportive policies and various enabling mechanisms. These include the creation of the GFPS, various committees, and even systems and facilities which could facilitate GAD mainstreaming in all ofDA-PhilRice stations. Continuous capacity-building activities are also conducted to ensure staff can mainstream GAD in their respective program, projects, and activities. The planning and monitoring system is also strictly followed through the annual GAD Planning and Budgeting and the submission of the Accomplishment Report to the Philippine Commission on Women as a monitoring agency. Furthermore, GAD also undergoes a yearly audit by the Commission on Audit (COA) to ensure that GAD funds are appropriately spent on GAD initiatives.

For the following steps, the Institute is planning to strengthen the capacity of staff to conduct gender analysis in their programs, projects, and activities. These would help the institute have a more in-depth GAD integration and social inclusion in its operations. Also, as the Institute is on its way to crafting a new Strategic Plan, GAD is being consciously integrated into crafting the DA-PhilRice vision and mission. This is to constantly remind the staff that achieving sustainable development in agriculture and the rice sector calls for more inclusive interventions. Moreover, the Institute is also preparing for another round of GMEF evaluation by PCW to check/very its status/level of gender mainstreaming and determine how it could be further improved.


Among the most significant achievements of the GAD mainstreaming in DA-PhilRice is the institute’s high and increasing GAD budget attribution from its full-blown implementation in 2017 until the present. In 2017, GAD attribution in the institute was at 5.36%; 5.76% in 2018; 14.50% in 2019; 44.33% in 2020; and 38.63% in 2021. Because of this, DA-PhilRice (Central Experiment Station and branch stations) received three commendations from the Commission on Audit for consistently meeting the 5% budget allocation; addressing gender issues and integrating gender perspectives into the agency’s policies, activities and projects; and for having supportive management. These commendations are consistent with the level three GAD mainstreaming assessment result of the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) on the institute’s GAD efforts in 2019. This means that GAD is already institutionalized within the organization and that gender planning and budgeting have become more strategic, resulting in more gender-responsive programs and an increase in GAD attribution.

GAD mainstreaming at the institute has also received both internal and external awards/recognitions nationally and internationally. Internally, the management recognized the GAD capacity development team for its excellent conduct of the Gender Sensitivity Training in 2021 using customized modules and online training platforms. At a national level, the DA-PhilRice GAD research paper won second prize at the National GAD conference in 2019. And a more recent development is the confirmation of one of DA-PhilRice’s GFPS members as a new member of the PCW’s Resource Pool of GAD experts. At the international level, DA-PhilRice was one of the presenters of the 2022 Global Summit of Women, which earned the Philippines the Ministerial Award.

These achievements helped DA-PhilRice to be recognized as a model institution in GAD mainstreaming, and these efforts will continue as long as there is GAD.


Based on the 2021 COA audit observation report, they “commend the management for supporting the objectives of GAD and further recommend continually adhering to the related laws, rules and regulations concerning GAD planning, budgeting, and implementation.”

Positive feedback was also gathered during capacity development activities among DA-PhilRice staff. During the two batches of asynchronous Gender Sensitivity Training (GST) in 2021 and one batch of asynchronous Gender Analysis Training (GAT) in 2022, for example, all participants found the overall conduct of the training excellent. For the GST, their most common feedback is that they “appreciated the training and grateful for the learnings,” and for the GAT, they find it “very insightful and informative,” and it helps them “understand the real importance and concept of gender mainstreaming in research and the rice sector.”

External clients have also provided good feedback for benefitting from the gender-responsive programs of the institute. For the Rice Competitiveness Enhancement Fund (RCEF) – Extension Program (one of the gender-responsive banner program of DA-PhilRice) for example, which give equal learning opportunities for women and men farmers, a 64-year-old Emma Tolentino attested that she learned a lot from the RCEF training and that her age was not a hindrance for her to join the training contrary to what she formerly thought.

On the other hand, Ms. Marites A. Benico, one of the women members of a Farmer’s Cooperative under the Rice Business Innovations Systems (RiceBIS) Community Program (another gender-responsive program) that DA-PhilRice served, testified how she was empowered by the program to venture into agribusiness. According to her “huwag nating limitahan ang ating mga sarili sapagbebenta lang ng palay sa mga traders. Kailangan natin mag-isip ng iba pang mga paraan parakumita.”

Name of the Organization

Technology Application and Promotion Institute

Name of the Office/Unit that leads the implementation of this best practice entry

Invention Development Division (IDD)

Focus Area of the Best Practice

Measurement, Analysis, and Knowledge Management, Risk Assessment

Date the best practice was first implemented

16 July 2015 – up to present

Summary of the Best Practice

One or two decades ago, technology transfer enticed potential takers to adapt, use, or buy a technology package. When the Philippine Technology Transfer Act (Republic Act No.10055) came into law in 2009, due diligence seemed like a textbook theory. But things changed in 2015 when the DOST-Technology and Promotion Institute (TAPI) started to prepare for the possible receipt of requests for fairness opinion issuance that the said law requires in all commercialization efforts from publicly-funded research.

DOST-TAPI, through its Invention Development Division (IDD), developed its intellectual property (IP) due diligence mechanisms, in particular, Freedom to Operate (FTO) and IP valuation, essentially to provide technical support to the Fairness Opinion Board. The efforts either can be supported by or lead to the pioneering publication of FTO and IP valuation books, issuances of guidelines and protocols, and later adoption by the regional offices of the DOST that serve as the current Fairness Opinion Board Secretariat.

The Challenge

In bringing a research product into a market, there is a need to ensure that preparatory works are in place to increase its success and avoid waste of government resources or unnecessary legal battles. Part of the work requires looking into possibilities that there could be blocking patents that would impede market entry through Freedom to Operate assessment, IP valuation to serve as leverage during negotiations and licensing, and dealing with regulatory requirements. On equal footing, the Philippine Technology Transfer Act of 2009 encourages technology commercialization and explicitly requires that publicly funded researches undergo fairness opinion. Since there were no existing models, local or abroad, to use before the first request was received in 2015 for fairness opinion issuance, the DOST-TAPI, as the then secretariat of the Fairness Opinion Board, established the mechanisms from scratch, which included issuances of guidelines and protocols, and later fast-tracking of the services. The Best Practice is now being used by DOST’s regional offices and is now adopted by Research and Development Institutes (RDIs) around the country.

Solution and Impact

DOST-TAPI’s best practice is a due diligence mechanism that was first assessed through environmental scanning to determine whether there are existing models that can be adopted for the instant takeoff of the fairness opinion issuance. There appeared to be none, which became the basis to secure funding from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) that aimed to support the commercialization of locally-developed technologies and the operationalization of the Fairness Opinion Board (FOB) Secretariat by the DOST-TAPI. In-house capacity building, drafting and issuance of protocols and guidelines, and later training of other agencies were done. Towards the end of 2019, the experiences obtained from the development and use of the Best Practice inspired the amendment of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act (RA) No. 10055, which decentralized the role of the FOB Secretariat from DOST-TAPI to the regional offices of the DOST. DOST-TAPI capacitated all of the DOST regional offices to allow them to absorb requests for fairness opinions from their respective jurisprudence.

The best practice of the Institute led to the issuance of several memorandum circulars, such as guidelines to determine licensing royalties, technology commercialization policies, and fast-tracking options to issue fairness opinion reports. It also led to capacity-building activities of DOST stakeholders where thousands of researchers, scientists, policymakers, technology transfer professionals, intellectual property (IP) professionals, government specialists, professors, and students around the country were trained on fairness opinion issuance, Freedom to Operate (FTO), and IP valuation.

The most striking impact, however, that the best practice contributed to public sector innovation is the amendment of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of RA 10055. While many parts of the IRR were revised after thorough public consultations around the country, it would be highly distinguishable that Rule 11 was overhauled to present a better modality to issue fairness opinion reports. The following summarizes the revision as triggered by the best practice:

  1. What cannot be considered as commercialization (Section 2)
  2. Minimum required documents (Section 6)
  3. Criteria for fairness, which guides the Fairness Opinion Board to evaluate the financial capability of the technology transferee and its ability to sustain the production, competitive position of the technology transferee, marketability of the product or service that shall be produced from the subject technology(Section 7)
  4. Contents of the Fairness Opinion Report (Section 8)

The pre-commercialization due diligence mechanism of DOST-TAPI also contributed to the separation of the fairness opinion report to focus on the financial aspects of the transaction and to be issued by an independent third-party body of experts, with that of a Written Recommendation, as elucidated in DOST Memorandum Circular No. 002 s. 2019.


With the due diligence mechanism getting handy, the DOST-TAPI was able to operationalize the FOB and created and streamline the processes, in particular Rule 11 of the IRR of RA 10055, leading to 102 IP valuation reports, 313 licensing agreements and term sheets, 61 written recommendations, and 159 fairness opinion reports from 2016 to 2020 as commissioned by theDOST. This also motivated launching of a technology transfer fellowship known as HIRANG: Honing Innovations, Research, Agreements and Negotiations of the Government-Funded Technologies Internship Program, which led to the graduation of 23 technology transfer interns and the signing of 12 licensing agreements.

In 2017, the pioneering team was nominated for the First Annual Awarding Ceremony of BCYF Innovation Awards in Malacañang Palace. The FTO and IP valuation teams of the DOST-TAPI were able to assess several local technologies, including the portfolio of potentially the country’s first unicorn. In July 2021, DOST-TAPI launched its Week-long Accomplishment and Culminating Activity of Special Projects (WACAS) to honor the project team’s accomplishments and included specialized public presentations dubbed “The Specialist” where the Best Practice was presented on two (2) topics, “Assessing IP Quality and FTO through IP Analytics” and “Demystifying IP Valuation”.

The specialists comprising the pioneering team from the Invention Development Division are now recognized as subject matter experts on the Best Practice. As proof of interest and adoption, DOST-TAPI specialists are now regularly requested as experts and resource persons by other agencies to teach or discuss FTO, IP valuation, and fairness opinion issuance.

Name of the Organization

Provincial Veterinary Office of Marinduque

Name of the Office/Unit that leads the implementation of this best practice entry

Provincial Veterinary Office of Marinduque

Focus Area of the Best Practice

Leadership, Strategy, Citizens / Customers

Date the best practice was first implemented

01 January 2004 – up to present

Summary of the Best Practice

The Marinduque Veterinary Field Hospital (MVFH) is an integral program that reinforces the Marinduque mobile veterinary services, which seeks to provide compassionate veterinary care to companion and farm animals in rural and small communities. It is the first innovative method of bringing veterinary service to the countryside.

The concept started way back in 2004 with continuous upgrading and innovation to meet the ever-changing needs of the time. The Veterinary Field Hospital provides multi-faceted services catering to the mandate of the Provincial Veterinary Office by providing animal health services such as the spay and neuter program, animal production services, information and dissemination campaigns, veterinary medical missions on calamity stricken areas not only in the province of Marinduque but also in other parts of the country that includes animal and wildlife rescue including marine mammal rescues and rehabilitation. The goal is to extend help to pet owners, livestock farmers, and all animal lovers to make them our leading partners in promoting responsible pet ownership and making them successful farmers and empowered citizens.


Its main objective is to boost the office’s mandate by bringing veterinary services right to the doorsteps of our constituents. Those mandates include the control and manage the outbreak of highly contagious and deadly animal diseases with economic and public health importance and in situations resulting in the depletion of animals for work and human consumption, and to enforce all laws and regulations for the prevention of cruelty to animals, to eradicate, prevent or cure all forms of animal diseases and to regulate the keeping of domestic animals and to protect wildlife.

Unique key features

The Marinduque Veterinary Field Hospital is equipped with proper tools, medicines, and basic facilities that provide proper veterinary services in aesthetic pleasure free of charge to rural and marginalized communities. The MVFH is deployed every Tuesday to Thursday, servicing all Barangays all year round through a systematic and highly coordinated manner to maintain its cooperation with local government partners and efficient and effective delivery of veterinary services to the community.

The Challenge

In the late 90s and early 2000s, an average of seven and a maximum of twelve human deaths due to rabies were a predominant occurrence in a 95,925 hectares island Province. A relatively high number on a small island. Factors observed contributing to the problem were:

  1. While a high number of dog bite incidences occurred, only 576 in 2001 and 237 in 2010 were reported to local health facilities compared to 2155 in 2018. This means that in the late 90s and early 2000s, the community and dog bite victims had little knowledge of the correlation between the number of stray dogs, dog bites, rabies, anti-rabies programs, and health care programs against the dreaded disease.
  2. Though fairly in the early 2000s, rabies vaccination reached approximately 7,000 dogs and cats vaccinated annually. But still, human deaths were prevalent, and many dog bite victims were not subjecting themselves to proper health programs to address the rabies incidence. This means that the community may have been participating less in the anti-rabies programs, information and dissemination campaigns, and other related veterinary services. The consequential effect of this low knowledge and awareness of the community was low citizen participation in the policies and programs related to addressing the rabies problem, relatively high numbers of contributory factors that cause the disease spread, and the consequential high human mortality rate.

Due to these factors, the Provincial Veterinarian was initially compelled to address the rabies problem radically by eliminating stray dogs accompanied by jabs of other mobile veterinary field services. The early stage of veterinary mobile field services in 2004 used traditional methods, medicines, newspaper drapes, and conducting spay and neuter surgeries and other treatment and surgical procedures for all animals under the waiting sheds. Only a few appreciated the services at that time yet had introduced the dynamics to the community. The radical approach brought instant and effective effects that eliminated rabies and ceased human deaths due to rabies in 2006, and the introduction of mobile veterinary services was clearly emphasized. However, the efforts still gained negative criticism and deterred measures against the skeptic community.

Fortunately, with continuous effort and innovation of the team leader and the introduction of external organizations such as the Japan International Cooperative Agency and Humane Society International, who extended their arms, helped reboot the methodologies and upgrade the technology conducted to maintain the hard-earned rabies-free status, preserve the momentum of delivering other veterinary services to other animals closer to their homes and increase the capability to respond the increasing number of wildlife animals brought for rescue and treatment. This resulted in innovation from essential mobile veterinary services to now as Marinduque Veterinary Field Hospital program incorporated with the creation of the Marinduque Animal and Wildlife Rescue Emergency Response Team.

Solution and Impact

The early stage of veterinary mobile field services in 2004 used traditional methods, medicines, newspaper drapes, and basic equipment’s while conducting spay and neuter surgeries and other treatment and surgical procedures for all animals under the waiting shed. The mobile veterinary field service, accompanied by the radical approach of stray dog elimination at that time, brought instant and bold results, specifically the cessation of human deaths due to rabies and the declaration of the rabies-free status of the province. Yet, it received tremendous negative and deterring criticism. Several outside organizations were contacted and supported to maintain its hard-earned results, resulting in upgrades and a dynamic shift of methodologies to continually deliver and sustain the significant intended impact on the community.

International foundations such as Japan International Cooperative Agency (JICA) and Humane Society International (HSI) provided support to alleviate the measures by providing technology transfer and equipping the Provincial Veterinary Office through modern spay and neuter programs. The program’s main activity is the surgical removal of the reproductive organs of dogs and cats to prevent the birth of unwanted litters contributing to the overpopulation of unwanted animals that increases the transmission of rabies. The main concept and goal of the program are that the higher the number of dogs spayed and neutered will decrease the number of stray dogs that transmits the virus, resulting in a reduced transmission factor, which then increases the probability of eliminating the rabies virus in the ecology of the province. The equipping and technology transfer activity allows the PVO to provide spay and neuter programs to every barangay in the most efficient, effective, and aesthetic way. Though it was conducted in the early ‘90s under a waiting shed, the upgrade of technology and facilities gained traction in the community resulting in increased community participation and confidence in the program.

At first, technical skills were developed under the HSI and JICA training. Efficient and effective methodologies were transferred as well as latest medicines were provided. This is followed by providing basic to advanced surgical tools and equipment and immediately implementing the activities. Along the way of implementation and the consequential support of our impressed local government leaders’, innovations were hasted, modern mobile tents and advanced medical tools were purchased and used, effective communication and coordination with local officials were strengthened, and intensification of information and dissemination efforts during daily deployment was instituted.

Up to now, the deployment of the Veterinary Field Hospital is every Tuesday to Thursday. Barangays were selected based on the number of dog bite incidents, the incidence of rabies deaths, dog and human population density, local initiatives, community requests, the number of stray dog population, geographical location, topography, and season. When barangays are selected, proper communication and coordination with local officials will follow. Methods of communication include official letters, radio announcements, house-to-house calls, and local postings to inform all community members to participate in the program. Follow-up phone calls and currently, online posts are also currently conducted. Upon arrival at the barangay, a strategic selection of field hospital sites in the barangays will be made. When the field hospital is established on-site, registration, surgical operation, medical treatments, and information dissemination are then conducted. Every animal brought will be served according to its needs, free of charge. This is conducted the whole year round in every barangay of the province.

As equipment and surgical procedure are eventually innovated and upgraded, the citizen’s participation in the services and mandates of the office has also increased. This allows information and dissemination campaigns to become very effective to the point where many other animals with different diseases were brought to the facility extending the services from spay and neuter to multi-faceted mobile veterinary services. The eventual attention and impact on the community impressed our leaders, who then gave full support to the team initiatives extending the office budget allocation, allowing the program to be innovated more freely and obtain more upgrades. Along with the innovative development of the Marinduque Veterinary field hospital program is the creation and activation of the Marinduque Animal and Wildlife Emergency Response Team.

The mobile veterinary hospital caters to all animal health services, animal welfare services, animal disease diagnostic services, animal and wildlife rescues, and calamity veterinary missions.

With the effectiveness of the information dissemination campaign, the general community increases their awareness and becomes empowered regarding animal and wildlife health care and the related laws and regulations. The resultant effect is the increase in reports of animal diseases and wildlife medical and situational cases to be responded to, and as the response is conducted, the accomplishment of the mandates is achieved.

Performance and Result

Before the program was implemented, human deaths reached twelve in the late ‘90s. In 2001, a list of six deaths occurred, while making the radical approach, zero human deaths resulted starting 2006 up to now. The province was then officially declared rabies-free in 2010. While doing the mobile field hospital in 2004, dog bite incidence reported increases from 576 in 2001 and 237 in 2009; it now became 2171 in 2017 and 2115 in 2018. This data may appear bad, but this also says that dog bite victims are now subjecting themselves to local health units and avails health programs against the disease; even dog and catscratches were considered bite cases. The more dog bite victims subjecting themselves to health programs, the more lives are saved. The dog bite numbers addressed by the Local human health agencies indicate the success of the PVO information dissemination campaign.

Companion animals brought to spay, and castration programs also increased since the implementation of the field hospital. In 2012, only 150 dogs and cats were brought, which increased to 994 in 2013. In 2018 it peaked at 3157 until it was disrupted due to COVID. Right now, it further improves, as in 2018, a barangay operation averaged 20-50 for spaying and neutered, while last month’s operation averaged 60-100 dogs and cats brought for spay and neutering with other animals brought for treatments and medical consultations.

In 2003 livestock animals undergoing prophylactic medication such as deworming were 2,694, and vitamin administration was 927, while animals subjected to treatment were 2.246 with zero wildlife rescued. There was a massive decline in 2004, where only 248 were dewormed, 137 were administered with vitamins, and only 728 were treated. When the MVFH program was launched to bolster animal health services in 2018, 5,059 livestock animals were dewormed and underwent prophylactic treatment, with 3,473 being administered with vitamins and 4,362 various animals treated, plus 14 wildlife rescued. Last year there were 17 wildlife animals rescued, rehabilitated and released, and this year, during the third quarter, there are already 56 wildlife animals rescued, rehabilitated and released.

Another significant indirect impact of the project is that even livestock animals and livestock animal farmers were reached and served aesthetically and effectively. Communities in rural areas also received a modern approach to veterinary services for their companion animals in their barangays. Providing such a class of service at their doorstep also eliminates the cost of transportation and precious time, which can now be converted to supplement other necessities and important day-to-day activities.

Increased awareness of the general community of wildlife also grows. Immediate reports from the general community to situational and medical cases of wildlife animals to be responded to increased. In the previous years, an average of 18 wildlife rescues, rehabilitations, and releases were conducted, while now 2022, third quarter, we have already responded to 59 animal wildlife cases. Mainstream media are now covering several of our rescue efforts, intensifying people’s awareness. Now, the local community prefers reporting animal wildlife situational cases (even poisonous snakes) rather than killing them immediately. This means that wildlife is now truly protected through community awareness and empowerment as a result of the creation and efforts of the Marinduque Animal and Wildlife Rescue Emergency Response Team and the success of information dissemination campaigns during the deployment of the Marinduqueveterinary Field Hospital.


The program was also highly admired and modeled by Veterinary Universities and other local government veterinary offices in cities and provinces. Due to these comments, Marinduque Mobile veterinary services has become a hub for veterinary student internships at different veterinary schools, such as Central Luzon University and Dela Salle Araneta University, and training areas for local government veterinarians of various cities and provinces in the country, such as Paranaque City, San Jose del Monte Bulacan City, San Juan City, Manila, Palayan City, Nueva Ecija, Puerto Princesa City and the Province and Municipalities of Palawan, Calapan city and the entire Province of Mindoro Oriental and Mindoro Occidental, and Province of Romblon. On several occasions, the Team and the Mobile Field Hospital Program became guests in these cities and provinces to provide veterinary services in those areas. Furthermore, animals and communities affected by calamities were also served, such as in the typhoon Yolanda, the Taal volcano eruption, and bird flu outbreak in Luzon, and operation saving laguna pit bull.


As of now, several Local Government veterinary offices have adopted and replicated the project, which includes the Paranaque City Veterinary office, Mindoro Oriental and Occidental Provincial Veterinary Office, and San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan. Highly urbanized and prosperous cities such as Cebu and San Jose Del Monte Bulacan have applied such technology effectively and were supported by their leaders resulting in the creation of the San Jose Del Monte Bulacan Veterinary Hospital And Cebu City Veterinarymobile spay and neuter Bus. The most successful one is the Province of Romblon; with the help of the team and full replication of the program, they achieved rabies-free status.

Another indirect effect of the program is the motivation created by trained veterinary interns; they now appreciate Local government practice, which is uncommon nowadays. Most of those trained are now embracing local government veterinary practice.


The multi-faceted veterinary services fortified by the Marinduque Veterinary Field Hospital program gained multiple recognitions, achievements, and awards.

In 2012, the province was officially declared a rabies-free Province by the Department of Agriculture, Department of Health, and National Rabies Prevention and Control Committee, even though there have been no reported cases since 2006. It was awarded on 28 September 2012. Marinduque completed and satisfied all the requirements prescribed by the National Rabies Prevention and Control Committee. Marinduque was declared a Rabies Free Zone by a joint declaration of the Department of Health and Department of Agriculture during the celebration of World Rabies Day held at Makati City Hall, Makati City. The NRPCC again awarded the Province of Marinduque a plaque of recognition for the unwavering support, tireless dedication, and excellence of the rabies program toward the national goal of rabies-free Philippines on 28 September 2016 and 2018. And on 27 September 2018, The Department of Health awarded a plaque of recognition to the Province of Marinduque for maintaining its rabies-free status for the past six years.

On 16 December 2005, an Award of Excellence was also given to the Provincial Veterinary office by the AusAID FAO eradication Project DA Bureau of Animal Industry National FMD Task Force in implementing programs that eliminate and prevent Foot and Mouth Disease spread and incursion without vaccination.

On 6 June 2014, the team was recognized as a semi-finalist in Search for Outstanding Public Officials and Employees. The Committee on Presidential Lingkod Bayan and CSC Pagasa Awards awarded it.

In September 2014, the team received the Civil Service Commission Pagasa Award. It is given in the merit of the team’s commitment to ensuring the welfare of animals and wildlife species in Marinduque and other provinces. In the award, the team was also recognized as the first animal welfare group to set foot in the impact zone in Leyte after the onslaught of Yolanda through operation “Sagip Hayop,” where affected animals, including livestock, were rescued and preserved as a source of income and food. The initiative also saved millions of pesos for the government in terms of possible disease outbreaks. Furthermore, the award also recognizes the remarkable team dedicated to upholding animal welfare led them to initiate projects that protect various wildlife species from poachers and made Marinduque a rabies-free zone.

On 18 May 2016, by introducing an innovative out of the box approach, the team leader was recognized as an Outstanding Provincial Veterinarian by the Provincial, City, and Municipal Veterinarians League of the Philippines In recognition of his invaluable achievement and dedication to Provincial Veterinarian of the Province of Marinduque and for his dedicated and unselfish efforts for the interest of the veterinary profession. Subsequently, the Team Leader was also recognized by his alma mater (Central Luzon State University) as one of its outstanding alumni for his far from the ordinary, innovative works.

Implementation Timeline

In 2002, a radical approach to eradicating rabies by eliminating stray dogs was initiated. In 2004, the Marinduque Provincial Veterinary Office introduced and implemented the Marinduque Veterinary Fieldhospital delivering Veterinary mobile field service. In 2006, there were no reported cases of human mortality brought by rabies or animals infected with rabies.

In 2010, the modern spay and neuter program was implemented as a main component activity of the Marinduque veterinary field hospital to complement the anti-rabies program of the province with a scientific approach to controlling the dog and cat population. In 2012, The Province of Marinduque was declared by the department of health and the Bureau of Animal Industry as a Rabies free province. In 2013, partnerships, collaborations, technology, and equipment transfer were conducted with Japan International Cooperative Agency and Humane Society International. From 2014 to the present, due to national recognition and impressed local leaders, the office has increased its budget allocation and has been supported dearly to this day. Innovations and upgrades continue, and services are further developed and improved.


The program received positive feedback from clients, young veterinarians, local government veterinarians, companion animals, livestock farmers, and everyday citizens who availed of the services in the province while doing veterinary medical missions in other parts of the country. Here are some:

“A very reliable institution in terms of veterinary services, both in public service and wildlife rescue. This institution is a hallmark of advocacies that young and aspiring veterinarians can learn from. Even places far from urbanization learn about the importance of our wildlife and the whole environment with their community service. I learned a lot of approaches to wildlife rescue just by reading their posts. Having such an institution serve our community is something to celebrate and appreciate, as their advocacies are not easy to serve. We would like to send our deepest appreciation and gratitude to PVet Marinduque for continuing their advocacies and inspiring us young veterinarians.” – Dr. Cid Brent G. Aurelio, DVM, Veterinarian.

Albert Einstein once said, “You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created”; you have to rise above it through innovation and creativity. This drive to innovate is characterized by the Provincial Veterinary Office of Marinduque and is exemplified by their Mobile Field Veterinary Hospital (MFVH). Population control of dogs and cats is crucial in effective Rabies control and prevention. As Marinduque is one of the few Rabies-free provinces in the Philippines, maintaining its status requires the cooperation of everyone. The ability to bring veterinary technical services to remote areas enhances the pet owners’ compliance with local ordinances. Here in Oriental Mindoro, pet owners were fortunate to have experienced the free spay and neuter services at the MFVH. The spay and neuter activity was a big hit here in Calapan City, Naujan, Victoria, and Puerto Galera municipalities. The MFVH served as a safe space to do surgeries; asepsis, crowd control, and surgical comfort are some factors that are achieved. However, it should be noted that without the talented and dedicated people behind the MFVH, it is just a tent. The good news is that the PVO Marinduque is generous enough to share the concept and technical skills. As a local government veterinarian, I have experienced first-hand how the MFVH operates and have been fortunate enough to join them in other provinces of MIMAROPA. Even our staff gained hands-on experience as the MFVH staff mentored them in various activities. We have embarked on having our field veterinary hospital because of our exposure to Marinduque’s innovation, and we hope to achieve the same level of expertise and service provision in our province. – Dr. Alfredo Manglicmot, Veterinarian 4 of the Provincial Veterinary Office of Mindoro Oriental.

The opportunity to be given my paw and cat vaccination is a relief for me as a recipient of the said initiatives from the Provincial veterinary of Marinduque; it helps me feel worried, for most of the dogs in our community are not vaccinated for quite some time. We sometimes pay more for vaccination if our dog bites someone. Still, because of the vaccination of the provincial veterinarian headed by Dr. Victoria and his staff, we are grateful because we will not seek in different municipalities to have our dog and cat vaccinated. They also do ligation surgery for owners who wish to make their paws and cats healthier. As one of the recipients, I am beyond grateful and hope this program will accommodate more people. Thank you so much to one of your recipients and our community here in Sta. Cruz Marinduque. More power and job well done. – Mr. Arjay Peneda, Baranggay Lapu-Lapu, Sta. Cruz Marinduque

The Veterinary Field Hospital/ Mobile Field Service conducted by the PVO of Marinduque was helpful, especially here in our province, where many in the community cannot afford to visit the clinic/office. Creating a setup like this is tiring but fulfilling once you see how many animals/pets your service and when you see those happy and thankful owners. So a big salute to the PVO for the job well done, and I hope more Provinces/ Cities will also see the benefits of having a Veterinary Field Hospital/ Mobile Field Service. – Ms. Irish Ann Revilla, Veterinary Student at Cavite State University

Name of the Organization

Quezon City Government

Name of the Office/Unit that leads the implementation of this best practice entry

Quezon City Health Department

Focus Area of the Best Practice

Strategy, Citizens / Customers

Date the best practice was first implemented

06 November 2017 – up to present

Summary of the Best Practice

The Community-Based Mental Health Program (CBMHP) of Quezon City is an integrated and comprehensive approach to delivering appropriate services to promote mental health in the community and provide services to those with mental illness. The program aims to promote a shift from hospital-based care to a community-based mental health care delivery system. This can be achieved by integrating mental health care in primary health care services; prevention, control, and treatment of mental illness at all levels; and promotion of mental wellness in the community.

The CBMHP ensures that mental health services are delivered by primary mental health care facilities that support or treat people with mental disorders in a home rather than a psychiatric hospital.

Community services:
  1. Mental health services integrated with primary health care in all the health centers of QC
  2. Diagnosis and initiation of treatment by specialists either in the hospital setting or in community outreach activities.
  3. Psychiatric wards of general hospitals (for scale-up)
Program Strategies:
  1. Capacity building of health center staff and community leaders
  2. Promoting mental health in the workplace and the community includes the Young Healthy Mind interactive learning for adolescents integrated with the Teen Walk To Health.
  3. Decentralization of patients from QCGH through the Mental Wellness Access Hubs (MWAH) facilities to provide psychotropic drugs in health centers.
  4. Outreach ‘mentoring’ sessions in the community for diagnosis and treatment of patients with mental disorders.
  5. Provision of Psychosocial support in HOPE Facilities and the community in lockdown areas.

Because of this initiative, Quezon City may yet be the only LGU wherein all the health centers can integrate mental health services in primary care. Thousands have already been reached through community activities in all city districts. At the moment, there are over 180 patients registered and receiving free medicines in barangay health centers.

The Challenge

The Philippine World Health Organization (WHO) Special Initiative for Mental Health conducted in 2020 shows that at least 3.6 million Filipinos are encountering mental health issues as the Philippines continues to face the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Department of Health (DOH) Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, about 1.14 million Filipinos have depression, 847,000 are battling alcohol-use disorders, and 520,000 others were diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

Amid the increasing burden of mental illness, the country has limited human resources and mental health facilities. Furthermore, even fewer general practitioners are trained in managing common mental health problems. In addition, to support from healthcare services, people with mental illness require social support and care to enable them to be active community members.

Mental health care gaps between the supply and the demand for services always existed and were further magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic. Feelings of vulnerability, uncertainty, fear of death, stress, and isolation were experienced by most people, especially those who were quarantined.

In the Philippines, there needs to be a mental health registry that localizes patients. The exact burden of the disease in Quezon City can only be estimated. The Quezon City General Hospital (QCGH) reported 1,083 cases of accessing the OPS from June 2017-March 2018. Hospitals like the National Center for Mental Health (NCMH), East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC), Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC), Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), UERM Medical Center, and Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center (AFPMC) have difficulty in identifying and reporting cases involving QC residents.

Mental health services in Quezon City have been highly specialized and institutionalized, but patient care has to continue beyond institutional facilities. Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) have identified mentally ill patients discharged from the hospitals with recurrence of symptoms because of lack of follow-up and inability to purchase maintenance medicines. Mental health services were not within reach of the residents, especially the poor and underserved. Hence, the need for a community-based mental health program–to make services within reach of the people.

Solution and Impact

The Quezon City CBMHP, was developed to integrate mental health into primary care and to make mental health services accessible in the community. The CBMHP Ordinance of the city was passed in 2015, way ahead of the Mental Health Act of 2018.

Innovative strategies cited in the city’s CBMHP ordinance include:

  1. Capacitating health center staff and community leaders
    • Training of BHWs and Barangay leaders on “Kalusugang Pangkaisipan,” a module developed by the Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA) for community lectures on promoting mental health and erasing the stigma of mental illness.
    • Training of health staff on the Mental Health Gap Action Program (mhGAP) of the WHO.
  2. Health Promotion
    • Workplace – conduct of the Mental Health Summit, which is the “All is well” series in 2018 and 2019 for the Quezon City Health Department (QCHD) staff.
    • Community – “Kalusugang Pangkaisipan” lectures in health centers using flip-tarps reproduced by the city; Community-based Mental Health Handbook for Community Health Workers (CHWs)
    • Young Healthy Mind interactive learning for adolescents integrated with the Teen Walk To Health.
    • Decentralization of patients from QCGH.
  3. Mental Wellness Access Hubs (MWAH) were identified per district where psychotropic drugs are stored. MWAH doctors were assigned as coordinators for districts to facilitate patient referrals and care.MWAH facilities keep an inventory of medicines and maintain a Mental Health Registry.
  4. There are currently six functional MWAH facilities (one in each of the six districts of Quezon City).
  5. Mentoring sessions – outreach activities for patients with symptoms of mental illness conducted by health center staff in partnership with UNILAB, PMHA, and QCGH.
  6. Provision of Psychosocial Support in HOPE Facilities and lockdown areas, including services like Basic Services and Security (shelter, vaccines, food), Community and Family Support (inquiry desk), Focused Non-specialized services (psychological first aid, 112 helpline access), and Specialized services(referrals, MWAH psychotropic drugs, and teleconsultation)

Mental disorders are prevalent in all societies and create economic and social difficulties for the community. In the Philippines, the Mental Health Act was passed in 2018 – ensuring access of patients to mental health services at all levels of the national healthcare system.

In Quezon City, the program has been initiated ahead of the national law, and the city has been investing in its implementation for the past five years. Other communities must also prioritize mental health concerns and develop programs to address them. Here are the reasons we invest in integrating mental health services in primary care:

  1. Mental health disorders can lead to high psychosocial and economic costs for the community.
  2. Early diagnosis and treatment can decrease the disease burden of MH disorders*
  3. The treatment gap for mental disorders is big.
  4. Primary mental health care services are less expensive than psychiatric hospitals.
  5. Mental and physical health problems are interwoven
  6. Mental health care is important to address the needs of those with mental disorders and promote the mental health of all people.

The risk for mental illness spares no one, as experienced during the pandemic. An effective program must be tailor-made and focused on meeting the needs of a specific community. Barangays all over the country have health facilities where mental health services can be integrated with proper training of health workers. To improve health-seeking behavior and prevent stigma, residents must be taught to see mental illness as important as any other disease being treated in health centers.

The DOH and other agencies can be engaged to provide technical and funding support for training, health promotion materials, and medicines. The initiative, though, has to come from the community creating an opportunity to strengthen health governance.

Review/Next Steps Planned

While the CBMHP of QC is focused on promoting MH in the community, other sectors of society also have mental health needs that must be addressed.

  1. In scaling up, there are plans to expand the CBMHP services:
    • Expand and institutionalize the outreach ‘mentoring’ activities through the “Adopt a District” project by hospitals in Quezon City, wherein a regular quarterly activity will be conducted per district. This project will eventually expand the network of facilities included in the decentralization of patients for integration into the community.
    • While there are challenges to the limited outreach schedules on community lectures, online materials must be developed to increase reach in integrating MH promotion in health centers.
    • For continuity of care, an acute inpatient service can be established in any of the LGU hospitals, providing pediatric psychiatric services.
    • Organize a community support group to be an advocate for promoting mental health in the community. This may be composed of but not limited to family members of patients with mental illness.
    • Screening for anxiety and depression in the health facility aligned with the risk assessment of adults 20 years old and above.
    • The challenge in reporting is that MH services in institutions are available to all, not only to Quezon City residents. A policy must be developed with the institutions to facilitate more comprehensive and accurate data collection.
  2. Adopting other provisions of the Mental Health Health Act:
    • Workplace – The MH program developed by CSC needed to be implemented in public offices and will be piloted in QCHD. Currently, QCHD is being assisted by a psychologist and will be utilizing a screening tool for depression and anxiety for health workers returning from quarantine.
    • Schools – There needs to be an improvement in the capacity of the Schools Division Office to implement the ”We care for your Mental Health” program in all the public schools in the city. This is being piloted in District 4 before its full implementation.
    • Suicide Prevention Strategy – A crisis management program framework needs to be developed in the city, including setting up a crisis hotline in collaboration with DOH and NCMH.


The CBMHP of QC has achieved the following since its implementation:

  1. Training of 51 doctors, 83 nurses, and 14 midwives on WHO Mental Health Gap Action Program – with all health centers having at least one trained staff. All health centers in QC may integrate MH services in primary care. Training of 300 Barangay Health Workers on “Kalusugang Pangkaisipan” of PMHA so they may conduct lectures on MH care and recognize symptoms of mental illness.
  2. Health Promotion activities:
    • For the Staff:
      • “All is Well” series for QCHD staff – 600 attendees on lectures on depression and stress management.
      • Online webinar series on self-care and stress management – 221 frontline health workers attended at least one session.
      • Psychosocial counseling group session for health responders. 13 sessions with 118 participants, including doctors, nurses, contact tracers, sanitation staff, and BHERT members.
    • For the Community:
      • Regular monthly pre-clinic lectures on “Kalusugang Pangkaisipan” were conducted in health centers with approximately 20 participants per session.
      • ‘Young Healthy Mind’ interactive learning for adolescents participating in Teen Walk to Health activities. Fifty-two sessions were conducted from 2017 to Q1 of 2020, reaching 6,488 adolescents. An online version was piloted in the Teen Health Quarter (THQ), and four sessions were conducted with 49 participants.
  3. Conducted 4 “Mentoring” Outreach activities, where 71 patients were seen and continuing medications
  4. Hospitals, especially the LGU-owned QCGH, were engaged in integrating MH care in the community through coordination with MWAH facilities. A total of 182 patients are registered in the city and receiving free maintenance medicines.
  5. During the pandemic, psychosocial support was provided to 38,440 patients in 12 HOPE facilities, with basic services like temporary shelter and food. Affected lockdown areas, with 20,995 families and 60,362 individuals given community and family support through the provision of inquiry desks, access to medical services, and vaccines.


  1. Patients with mental illness in the community for care and maintenance of medicines. One patient in a Mental Wellness Access Hub verbalized that:
    • “Mas mabilis akong gumaling dito kasi kasama ko ang aking pamilya at meron akong gamot…importante yung gamot…Malaking bagay po na hindi natitigil (ang gamot)… di na po ako irritable… di na natatakot at nakaka-imagine ng nakakatakot.”
  2. With health workers in the field, the program started with the “All is well” series. The conduct of this activity was not pushed through during the lockdown. The program opted to provide online psychosocial services in partnership with Philippine Mental Health Association (PMHA). Health workers were able to avail of these services. Feedback was positive:
    • “I had simple expectations from the counseling with psychologists, and it was just to have some simple quality time to listen to a pep talk with experts. But I gained a lot more. Though I came late because of a work conflict, it was a spontaneous unloading of pent-up emotions and uncertainties since the pandemic changed our world and work scenario. It was cathartic to speak about what I valued more while in the midst of the pandemic. Though, as a public health worker, doing service was the call of duty, it was also a time to love myself (self-preservation), and I learned from the counseling team that it was alright to cry and be sad, to stop and rest awhile and to speak up for oneself when our mental stability was being threatened. It was also a time to be reminded that nothing on earth is permanent, that change would bring in the new normal, and that, as human beings, we should move forward to adopt a post-pandemic defense mechanism. I would like to commend them for coming in at the most opportune time, as we need strangers to just listen to our thoughts on the challenges of the pandemic. Thank you, as it cleared many unnecessary burdens from my mind.”
    • “Group session was very welcoming and intimate with a feeling of privacy; thus, participants could express their present feelings well. I connected my personal experience to how everyone felt and was happy to have shared it. Time seemed short because sharing was fun and helpful.”

Since Quezon City is the first LGU in NCR that enacted an ordinance and implemented strategies, this is being benchmarked by the regional DOH Mental Health Program.

Name of the Organization

Philippine National Police

Name of the Office/Unit that leads the implementation of this best practice entry

Manila Police District Mobile Force Battalion

Focus Area of the Best Practice

Operations, Basic Services

Date the best practice was first implemented

24 October 2018 – up to present

Summary of the Best Practice

In their bid to reduce the crime rate and illegal activities in their jurisdiction, the Manila Police District (MPD) has been implementing the MPD Mobile Library project, Ang Guro Kong Pulis. The project aims to provide basic social welfare services through non-formal education to Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL), street children, and indigent minors. Since its implementation, the project has received much recognition and has been replicated in many areas.

Background of the Problem

Prior to the implementation of the project, MPD has seen through its regular patrolling and personal experiences that many street children and CICL are begging, doing unsolicited car washing, serving as illegitimate parking attendants, and illegally vending along the areas of Roxas Boulevard, Malate, and Ermita. Meanwhile, they have also used the areas of Taft Avenue and Baywalk as areas to converge, sleep, and do other types of illegal activities. Their presence in these areas can be attributed to a lack of an effective strategy from the local government unit (LGU) and the MPD.

And although the LGU in tandem with MPD have already been conducting regular rescue programs for street dwellers across the entire City of Manila, their effort has not been enough as the rescued street dwellers would return to those areas after they were released from LGU Rescue Center. After all, the Rescue Center cannot accommodate all of the rescued individuals due to a lack of manpower, the burden of such logistics, and the lack of other resources required.

During dialogues with members of CICL and through our investigations, we found out that a majority of our target audience are also “solvent users” or are inhaling illegal chemical substances, engaged in gang rivalry—and potentially violence, robbery, and the women, in particular, have also been engaged in prostitution.

Solution and Impact

To reduce the crime rate, the MPD Mobile Library Ang Guro Kong Pulis project was established on 24 October 2018. It hoped to achieve its objective by providing basic social welfare services through non-formal education to CICL, street children, and disadvantaged minors.

Before implementation, MPD conducted an area study and a survey of affected CICL and non-affected street children to identify their needs. They devised a plan in collaboration with higher education institutions and government agencies.

For the project’s actual roll-out, the unit’s issued troop carrier vehicle was converted into a mobile library outfitted with detachable bookshelves. As time progressed, an LED TV, a laptop, and some rechargeable speakers were added to the mobile library to make the learning activity more interactive.

The project is implemented every Wednesday and Friday along Malate Baywalk, Roxas Boulevard, Luneta Park, and the Ermita area. Every day, they could accommodate about one hundred fifty (150) beneficiaries who belong to the poorest of the poor. Beneficiaries ranged from 5-year-olds to 19-year-olds.

Aside from the regular police teachers, there have also been volunteer students, teachers from private schools, and private individuals who have provided teaching services. NGOs have also provided sponsorships such as medical, dental, feeding, and outreach activities. The project has also received donations such as LED TVs, toys, sports supplies, school supplies, and groceries, all of which have been used to supplement their services.

Overall, the MPD has considered the project a success since its commencement. It has been so successful that—although sessions are only held twice a week, they have considered conducting more frequent sessions as they have seen demand from the students. Moreover, students of the project and their parents have also expressed that this is a rare opportunity where they felt the support of the LGU, and they were incredibly grateful for the basic services and donations are given through the mobile library. Likewise, this uplifted morale has led MPD to consider the presence of police teachers an effective tool in crime prevention.

Because of its proven success, the project has also engaged in a replication process that inspires other groups to do the same. Notable examples include the Alegado Foundation based in the United States, The Philippine National Police-Special Action Force-Special Action Companies (PNP-SAF-SAC) 55, SAC 61, The Philippine Army 68 IB, and The Philippine Marine Battalion Landing Team 1 in the areas Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, and Negros Oriental, and with PNP Region 10 in areas such as Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, and Cagayan de Oro. Notably, the project was replicated by PNP Region 10 to see its effectiveness in countering local armed conflict.

In replicating the project in other areas, most PNP units adopted the same concept: their issued mobile vehicles were also converted into rolling libraries. On the other hand, the Philippine Army and Philippine Navy converted their large vehicles into mobile libraries. Crucially, in Mindanao, the PNP SAF, Philippine Army, and Philippine Marines rolled out their projects in far-flung areas, in the homes of ethnic people, and areas of local armed conflict.

Over time, the MPD has also adopted the project as part of its service of providing non-formal education. It also serves as a pipeline for students to eventually enroll in formal education under the Alternative Learning System established in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) Manila. In June 2019, the MPD Alternative Learning System was launched, and it started with 40 students from former students, other less fortunate constituents, and CICL.


The project received recognition from the National Capital Region Police Office’s (NCRPO) Press Club 3rd Anniversary Special Awards for Innovative Programs. It was awarded by none less than the NCRPO Regional Director PDIR Guillermo L Eleazar. The project’s representative was also invited as a Guest of Honor and Speaker and to be the recipient of recognition from the University of Santo Tomas Volunteers for United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). And also, during the celebration of Manila Police District 2019 Culmination of Police Community Relation Month, Police Brigadier General (PBGEN) Vicente D Danao Jr bestowed the program as Best Practice of the Year. Likewise, it was also recognized by the NCRPO as the 2019 Best Practice of the Year.

Name of the Organization

Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office VIII

Name of the Office/Unit that leads the implementation of this best practice entry

Regional Resource Operations Section (RROS) under Disaster Response Management Division (DRMD)

Focus Area of the Best Practice

Strategy, Operations, Management and Perspectives on Productivity and Quality

Date the best practice was first implemented

5 March 2018 – up to present

Summary of the Best Practice

Regional Resource Operations Section (RROS) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office VIII is changing the game in emergency response. Since 2018, the field office has been implementing the Family Food Packs (FFP), which introduced the following innovations:

  • Transition from plastic bags to Family Food Pack boxes
  • Installation of racking systems
  • Use of the assembly line method and rollers

Altogether, these innovations improved how FFPs were packaged, produced, and stored and are currently being implemented at RROS.

During emergencies, especially during post-disaster response, the FFPs become a common sight to affected families, who often depend on these boxes for survival, as these boxes contain enough food to feed a family of five for two to three days.

As the chair of the Food and Non-Food Item (FNFI) Cluster of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), DSWD is responsible for the production, storage, and distribution of these FFPs. And true to its commitment, DSWD has indeed produced and distributed these relief items where they are needed–from the Yolanda-ravaged communities in 2013 to the highlands of San Jose de Buan in 2019, and even to the locked-down municipality of Burauen during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, FFP made a difference.

It all started when the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s RROS under the Disaster Response and Management Division (DRMD) thought of a response to DSWD’s Administrative Order 01, Series of 2018. RROS was responsible for ensuring the availability, accessibility, and readiness of resources, food and non-food items, and the administration of necessary support before and during disaster operations. The RROS is further subdivided into the Warehousing and the Donations Unit.

The Challenge

A few years ago, DSWD FO Vlll’s FFPs were packed in plastic bags. The production process needed to be more streamlined. All raw materials (canned goods, rice, coffee, etc.) would be placed on low tables. Volunteers and DSWD workers would gather around these tables, sort and place these raw materials into plastic bags marked with the DSWD logo. After repacking the food items into FFPs, these plastic bags would then be placed inside a sack and then stacked on top of pallets and on top of each other. Each sack was then marked with the production date and the expiration date. The expiration date was based on the food item with the nearest expiration date. Using this information, it became easier to plan which sacks should first be distributed.

This method required plenty of effort and was slow and exhausting. The goods were more susceptible to damage due to compression in the stacking and were not environment-friendly due to the heavy use of plastic materials.

Solution and Impact

The evolution of Family Food Pack (FFP) from plastic to carton boxes did not happen overnight. Gradual improvements had to be implemented in stages.

Stage 1: Transition from Plastic Bags to Boxes (2018)

The transition from plastic bags to boxes started in 2018 when DSWD FO VIII outsourced boxes from DSWD Field Office X, 51,777 pcs of slotted carton boxes costing Php1,967,526.0–a considerable Savings generated by the department since those were considered extra boxes of Field Office X.

Stage 2: Installation of Racking System (2018)

By mid-2018, DSWD acquired a racking system, a storage solution designed to stack materials in rows with multiple levels, which was handed over when the local branch of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) shut down its office. This paved the way to generating another savings of Php 231,034.40 for 20 sets of racks. Resulting in easier storing of relief items, protecting contents from stacking pressure and extra storage space available for more FFPs and raw materials.

Stage 3: Assembly Line Method and Rollers (2018-2019)

Taking inspiration from the National Resource Operations Center (NROC) in NCR and Visayas Disaster Resource Center (VDRC) in Cebu, RROS implemented an assembly line method.
Using this method, repackers would stand alongside the table, FFPs would be pushed from one end of the table to the other, making small stops along the way and sealed by taping the boxes.
This streamlined system sped up the process and more FFPs were produced. However, this method had one challenge as this entails more effort in pushing the boxes along the table.
RROS devised an alternative solution through recycling materials (PVC Pipes, ball bearings, found steel, nuts/bolts) to create a fully functional Do-It-Yourself (D.I.Y) roller system. This effectively reduced strain on the part of the repackers, making the process smoother.

Performance and Results

These innovations resulted in more efficient production, storage and delivery of the FFPs, as follows:

  • More environmentally-friendly. Due to the switch to boxes, DSWD was able to reduce the usage of plastic.
  • Easier identification of the DSWD brand. Beneficiaries are easily able to differentiate between relief items from the LGUs and OSWO through the packaging.
  • Boxes are more secure. Once sealed, beneficiaries are assured that the relief items packed at the RROS are exactly what they will receive. Boxes also prevent accidental spillage of relief items due to rough handling during relief operations.
  • Easier organization and storage. The FFP box is stackable up to 100 FFPs per pallet, enabling easier storage compared to plastic bags.
  • Vertical storage frees up floor space. Due to the racking system, FFPs are stored vertically increasing Storage Capacity and meeting the required minimum of 20,000 FFPs. (See Annex I)
  • Faster production of FFPs. Increased number of FFPs produced in a day reaching new heights at 5000 FFPs (during Odette Relief Operations)–double the previous production figures.

This ingenuity has already caught the attention of several DSWD Field Offices and Local Government Units.

In July 2019, RROS staff participated in the 2nd National Resource and Logistics Management
Conference held in Cebu City, where each DSWD Field Office across the country presented its Best Practices. Later that year, these innovations were also featured during DSWD NCR’s benchmarking activity, where a visit to inspect these innovations at RROS.

In 2020, RROS was invited as a resource agency by the Provincial Local Government Unit of Western Samar for the training of Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers (MSWDOs) and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officers (MDRRMOs), imparting these best practices, encouraging them to replicate at the local level.

Insights of these innovations were also put into practice during the augmentation of the relief operations related to the Cotabato earthquakes last October 2019. RROS assisted in organizing the arrival of relief items and donations from various DSWD Field Offices and other agencies.

These innovations are incorporated in the Operations Manual for the Disaster Response Management Division, aiming to achieve full mechanization in the efficient production of FFPs and provide quality relief items for its dependents.


Last January 2022, the good practice documentation “Nang Dahil sa Kahon” of DRMD Field Office VIII gained recognition when it was awarded as the Best Knowledge Management Initiative under the Innovation Category of the 2021 Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) Awards.

In July 2019, DSWD FO VIII also gained recognition when it won the Over-all Winner in Good Practice Presentation on Resource and Logistics Management during the 2nd National Resource and Logistics Management Conference held in Cebu City participated by the DSWD Field Offices across the 17 Regions in the Philippines.

RROS was also invited in 2020 as a resource agency by the Provincial Local Government Unit of Western Samar for the training of Municipal Social Welfare and Development Officers (MSWDOs) and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officers (MDRRMOs) from the province and imparting these best practices, encouraging them to replicate at the local level. Another LGU, the Municipal Government of Catarman, Northern Samar, is currently arranging with the RROS for the conduct of a similar training this August of 2022.

These innovations were also practiced during the relief operations for the families affected by the Cotabato earthquakes last October 2019 during the augmentation for the relief operations, providing technical assistance in organizing and proper storage of relief items and donations.
Furthermore, these innovations are continually being implemented as RROS enlarges its operations in 2019 when the new warehouse in Palo, Leyte was opened.

These new innovations are also incorporated in the Operations Manual for the Disaster Response Management Division in the pursuit of full mechanization in producing FFPs ensuring efficiency and providing quality relief items to families who depend on them after disasters.


The continuous improvement of the operations of RROS in producing FFPs gained positive feedback from beneficiaries who witnessed the transformation of FFPs distributed in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda to its latest and more dignified form.

“Isa akong survivor ng bagyong Yolanda at yung bagong dating na bagyo, yung bagyong Odette. Nakatanggap ako ng relief goods mula sa DSWD Regional Office. Para sa akin, dati, di natin alam kung yung mga ipinamigay mula sa DSWD Region, di natin alam kung binawasan, dahil kapag naka-box siya, malalaman agad kapag binawasan kasi selyado siya ng packing tape.” – Nanay Lenny (Yolanda Survivor 2013 and Odette Survivor 2021)

“Ayos naman, mas maganda ko yung ngayong naka-box kasi selyado talaga siya hindi na makakasabing kulang.” – Nanay Yolanda (Yolanda Survivor 2013 and Odette Survivor 2021)

More so, the innovations applied yielded improvements of how FFPs are stored to ensure the quality and further increase the number of FFPs produced and stored through the Racking System and in speeding up the production through the Assembly Line Method and Rolling System.

“‘Yung storage dati, nilalagay lang yung paleta sa floor. Di talaga kami nakaka-storage ng marami kasi limitado lang ang lugar. Tapos ngayong may racking system na tayo, nakakapag-storage na tayo ng mas marami. Nama-maximize na natin yung lugar. Mas marami na yung goods na pwede nating i-stack at mas mabilis mag-store, mabilis bilangin at mabilis na rin ang pag-imbentaryo,” said Mark Anthony Tabones, Project Development Officer (Logistics).

Name of the Organization

Department of Science and Technology – Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII)

Name of the Office/Unit that leads the implementation of this best practice entry

Information Resources and Analysis Division – STARBOOKS Unit

Focus Area of the Best Practice

Digitization and New Technologies

Date the best practice was first implemented

24 June 2011 – up to present

Summary of the Best Practice

An innovative library-in-a-box developed by the Department of Science and Technology – Science and Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII) is bringing science and technology (S&T) information and knowledge resources closer to marginalized communities.

The Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated KioskS (STARBOOKS) is a stand-alone information source that provides Science, Technology, and Innovation-based content to students, teachers, and other relevant stakeholders. STARBOOKS contributes to the Institute’s primary mandate of establishing a science and technology databank and library and disseminating science and technology information.

The program team upgraded the content of its online portal to mirror its original offline content. In particular, the addition of K-12 learning modules that correspond to the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum of the Department of Education (DepEd) and the inclusion of STARBOOKS content to the DepEd Learning Commons tremendously benefited teachers and students struggling with the demands of remote learning.

The availability of STARBOOKS on offline, online, and mobile platforms opens more opportunities for users to access S&T resources at hand.

The Challenge

When STARBOOKS was created in 2011, a United Nations-funded survey was conducted, which later revealed the need for such a project. Results showed that only 26 percent of public schools throughout the Philippines had access to the Internet due to poverty or geographical location.

Moreover, 95 percent of these public schools have no functional libraries, disenfranchising a great number of students from resource-challenged schools. As if by design, STARBOOKS was able to fill a wide gap in the educational deficiencies with its concept of being a “library-in-a-box” that can be easily transported anywhere and used without an Internet connection. The entire STARBOOKS system is offered free of charge to requesting institutions, including its installation, training/orientation, and technical support. DOST-STII provides updating services as well.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, the education landscape was adversely affected, forced to implement drastic learning delivery measures such as virtual classes and modular learning. Yet through all the COVID restrictions and Internet connectivity problems, the education sector was able to pivot to the new demands of the times. Even before the pandemic, DOST-STII already saw the need for online platforms to complement the offline mode of STARBOOKS. Thus, STARBOOKS leveled up as an offline resource platform and onsite digital library and is now a reliable go-to online knowledge source available in the platform of the user’s choice.

Solution and Impact

STARBOOKS was conceptualized in 2011 through the joint efforts of DOST-STII’s library and IT groups. With no provisions for budgetary support, the system was originally developed in-house by its programmers. As demand grew over time, DOST-STII partnered with DOST Regional Offices to deploy and install STARBOOKS kiosks, especially outside Metro Manila. This eventually became an integral part of the scope of extension activities among DOST regional offices as part of their S&T and technical advisory services. To date, STARBOOKS has been installed in 17 regions and 81 provinces across the country.

Before 2011, clients had no other option but to visit the DOST-STII library for their study and research needs. Today, through STARBOOKS, users can avail of free library resources by choosing the platform (i.e., offline, online, or mobile) that suits their needs.

Three STARBOOKS mobile apps were also developed in response to the needs of its users:

  • STARBOOKS App, which makes its content more accessible to on-the-go users.
  • STARBOOKS Whiz App, which gamifies the process of learning science and mathematics through an interactive game format; and
  • STARBOOKS Geomap, which maps the actual location of STARBOOKS sites for greater convenience in locating the nearest STARBOOKS site in the users’ area.

Since its launch in 2011, it has become highly sought after by students and school officials in geographically-isolated, economically-challenged schools and communities with limited or zero Internet connectivity. As a result, STARBOOKS has served as an effective agent in helping marginalized communities access S&T resources and educational advancement, disaster readiness, and even entrepreneurial opportunities. Tagged as the country’s first S&T digital library, STARBOOKS is now installed in 5,877 sites and growing.

Meanwhile, as piecemeal improvements were carried out on the STARBOOKS portal, there was a noticeable shift in user preference from the offline to the online platform. As indicated in its system utilization report for 2019, only 3,364 new registered users and 8,590 materials were accessed, suggesting that it was used primarily for monitoring and report submission. In the following years, however, a spike in the number of newly registered users and materials accessed was recorded (21,724 new registered users and 607,896 materials accessed in 2021). Integrating K-12 materials to STARBOOKS online contributed to users’ increased visits, especially during the pandemic. Moreover, linking the STARBOOKS website to the DepEd Commons contributed significantly to the increase in newly registered users, such as students and teachers, now using the platform to access its wealth of education and knowledge resources.

Moreover, many organizations, such as academic institutions, libraries, and local government units that plan to establish their digital learning hubs, have visited DOST-STII to observe and benchmark the STARBOOKS Kiosks and their setup.

The STARBOOKS team believes in the power of partnerships as a force multiplier, so it consciously pursues collaborative activities with its partners while forging new partnering endeavors to expand the scope and reach of their engagement through content buildup, deployment assistance, sponsorships, and promotional services. Its landmark partnership was a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed in February 2020 between DepEd and DOST.

Under this MOA, STARBOOKS content shall initially be preloaded to learning devices deployed to priority public learning institutions through the DepEd Computerization Program. The education department shall also include its STEM content in its online learning commons, making it available especially to public school teachers.

For 2022, DOST-STII has forged a total of five new partnerships through the STARBOOKS platform with public and private institutions, among which include:

  1. ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, Inc. through Programa Genio, which will install STARBOOKS in their sponsored beneficiary schools;
  2. DOST Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI), which will make STARBOOKS accessible through their LokaLTE and RuralCasting technologies in areas not covered and serviced by local telcos and internet providers; and
  3. Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), which will provide solar-powered STARBOOKS to the most economically hit, geographically isolated schools in Palawan and Mindanao.

The STARBOOKS team sees itself continuing to collaborate with a broad mix of private and public institutions that share a common advocacy to uplift the status of Filipino students. STARBOOKS has linked with 34 partners since 2017, with more than Php 11 million in sponsorship funding received.

As the demand for information and service delivery continually evolves in numbers and complexity, the team is likewise committed to constantly improving the system performance and content development of STARBOOKS guided by the user feedback generated in its reporting facility for both offline and online platforms.


STARBOOKS was awarded the 2015 Presidential Citation for Innovative International Projects of the American Library Association (ALA) in ceremonies held in San Francisco, California. The citation noted “its innovative use of ICT in bringing stand-alone, offline terminals preloaded with STEM content serving as alternative digital libraries in economically challenged communities.”

In 2017, STARBOOKS received Gold and Silver Anvils at the 52nd Anvil Awards Night. It bagged the GoldAnvil for Public Relations Program: Directed at Specific Stakeholders, Students, Entrepreneurs, LGUs, Communities and Indigenous People, and the Silver Anvil Award for Public Relations Program: Directed at Specific Stakeholders, Students, Entrepreneurs, LGUs, Communities, and Indigenous People.

Also, in 2017, STARBOOKS was cited as a Finalist in the Government Best Practice Recognition of the Development Academy of the Philippines (DAP).

STARBOOKS was honored with a special award from the Presidential Communications Operations Office for its inclusion of important content and the latest updates on the Freedom of Information Act on the occasion of the 2019 Freedom of Information Summit.

In 2021, STARBOOKS was cited for Excellence in Government Communication Programs in the 18th Philippine Quill Awards for its impact in bringing knowledge on science, mathematics, and technical fields directly to the people.

Meanwhile, STARBOOKS has been part of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) National Priority Plan (NPP) since 2017 and generated more than Php 12.7 million worth of donations for the private sector in six years. According to NEDA, STARBOOKS is deemed to be aligned with the zero to ten-point socio-economic agenda of strengthening basic education and promoting a science and technology culture and supporting the long-term vision of raising awareness and promoting a science culture.

In 2022, STARBOOKS was named a regional winner of the Presidential Lingkod Bayan Award in the 2022 Search for Outstanding Government Workers of the Civil Service Commission, thereby earning a berth in the national finals.


Before the pandemic struck, DOST-STII organized STARBOOKS national conventions to serve as a venue for its partners and stakeholders to share their expertise and testimonies.

In one convention, Mr. Darren Honrado, a teacher at Patong Elementary School in Bgy. Mikit, municipality of Baganga, Davao Oriental, expressed his profound thanks as the first-ever recipient of a STARBOOKS kiosk powered by solar cells in his area, which is accessible only on foot after a six-hour hike. In his own words, he said: “DOST did not just install STARBOOKS in our school; it also installed hope among the students of Patong.”

Dr. Victoria B. Roman Memorial High School (DVRMHS) in Pilar, Bataan, was installed with a STARBOOKS kiosk in 2014. The school principal stated that STARBOOKS has been used by students for their assignment, and projects. Jillyn May N. Lagos, a Grade 10 student of DVRMHS, personally attested that STARBOOKS helped her in essay writing contest.

The Commission on Audit has also commended STARBOOKS for providing equal access to S&T information to economically-disadvantaged, geographically-isolated schools in the country.

In celebration of its 11th year, STARBOOKS compiled the stories from different stakeholders dubbed as “1storya ng 1nspirasyon”. The stories narrate the tapestry of experiences from our regional deployment officers together with the uplifting testimonies of STARBOOKS beneficiaries throughout the archipelago.

Name of the Organization

Cagayan Economic Zone Authority

Name of the Office/Unit that leads the implementation of this best practice entry

Community Affairs and Development Division

Focus Area of the Best Practice

Strategy, Inclusive Development, Social Innovation

Date the best practice was first implemented

14 March 2006 – up to present

Summary of the Best Practice

The Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZFP) was rife with environmental, social, economic, and institutional issues that impeded the area’s development and livelihood. However, Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) saw that livelihood diversification could help address these problems and saw the opportunity to develop the area for tourism. To achieve these goals together, CEZA initiated a Community-Based Sustainable Tourism (CBST) Program, a pilot test in Palaui Island Protected Landscape and Seascape (PIPLS). Through a range of activities around organizational development, community management, and resource generation, the program managed to help secure livelihoods for its residents, beautify the area, and earn an income of over Php 50 million that benefitted the community.

The Challenge

In the early years of taking over the CSEZFP, CEZA was confronted with environmental, social, economic, and institutional issues that have impeded the area’s development. The rich biodiversity of the area was threatened by abusive and uncontrolled practices. The forest lands were slowly deteriorating due to illegal logging, timber poaching, and the conversion of forest lands into agricultural land for the daily needs of the local population. Similarly, marine resources were also exposed to illegal fishing, marine products extraction, and other activities that had detrimental effects. With the main sources of livelihood being fishing and agriculture and with limited livelihood and income opportunities available for the residents back then, there was a struggle between sustaining people’s needs and preserving and protecting the area’s natural resources.

CEZA recognized that livelihood diversification could help address the people’s problems. Moreover, in seeing the area’s natural beauty, CEZA also recognized the area’s potential to be a key player in the country’s tourism industry. To achieve these goals together, CEZA envisioned a Community-Based Sustainable Tourism (CBST) Program, and decided to have the Palaui Island Protected Landscape and Seascape (PIPLS) as their pilot site.

However, an assessment of the site revealed that there was a lot to be done. Being a protected area and a marine reserve, the management of PIPLS was under the purview of a multi-sectoral body known as the Protected Area Management Board (PAMB), and it complicated administrative affairs for the project, the area also lacked infrastructure to support a tourism industry, and the community was not yet open to the project. These were among the considerations that CEZA had to note in crafting its CBST Program.

Solution and Impact

On 14 March 2006, CEZA proceeded with a number of activities to mobilize the program.

  1. A resource-based inventory (RBI) for PIPLS was conducted to obtain baseline information about the chosen site for tourism development.
  2. CEZA also communicated pertinent topics, such as the program’s Business Model and principles of ecotourism, with stakeholders and community members through a series of consultations and IEC activities. At first, stakeholders and members of the community did not appreciate the concepts introduced under the CBST Program, especially its “high value, low volume” principle. However, this challenge was eventually overcome through public discussions, consultations, information, and education campaigns.
  3. A tourism planning workshop was also undertaken with the participation of stakeholders from government entities, non-government organizations, academe representatives, civil society groups, private partners, island leaders and residents.
  4. A visioning exercise was also conducted to discuss the activities, goals and objectives of the Program and provide a clear view of what CEZA intends to do with the Program.
  5. CEZA also facilitated the identification of tourism products and services that could be produced at the site.
  6. CEZA also helped establish tourism infrastructures and facilities by organizing resource generation campaigns and applications for grants/financial assistance.

Along the way, CEZA has also adopted the Palaui Environmental Protectors Association (PEPA), which was originally formed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). PEPA is composed of residents who have been volunteering to be the caretakers of the PIPLS. Since their adoption, they have also extended their role in the tourism development of the island.

Since then, CEZA has also expanded the program’s tourism products and services through the creation of seven PEPA sub-groups, namely (1) Palaui Island Guides, (2) Palaui Reef Ranges,(3) Palaui Women’s Catering, (4) Palaui Island Spa, (5) Palaui Weavers Association, (6) Palaui Island Honey Hunters Marketing Cooperative, and (7) Palaui-San Vicente Motor Boat Association. These community-assisted organizations were also provided interventions for organizational development and strengthening, capacity-building, resource generation, marketing and promotions. CEZA has also partnered with public and private sector organizations, which all have contributed to the successful implementation of the program.


The CBST Program now contributes to the environmental management of the CSEZFP and it has provided secure livelihoods for its residents. The community enterprises benefit by charging competitive prices in exchange for high-value tourism products and services. Since 2011, the income generated by PEPA and its sub-groups has already totaled over Php50 million. This could have been higher if not due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the success of the Program, it has been used to benchmark the 55 ecotourism enterprises in 22 sites of DENR-PAWB’s Integrated Coastal Resource ManagementProjects’ (ICRMP’s) ecotourism sites in the provinces of Cagayan, Davao Oriental, Cebu, Masbate, Siquijor, Zambales, Benguet, and the succeeding CBST initiatives of CEZA.

The CBST Program itself was also recognized many times. To name a few:

  1. PEPA was a two-time recipient of the prestigious Association of Southeast Asian Nationals (ASEAN) Community-Based Tourism Standard for 2017-2019 and 2019-2021.
  2. It was also awarded by DOT for its Outstanding Community-Based Tourism in March 2019.
  3. It was also a third-placer in the Para El Mar Award for its Outstanding National Integrated Protected Areas System – Marine Protected Areas in 2017, and a first-placer in the same category in 2019, obtaining a Php1 million cash prize.
  4. PEPA was also recognized as the Longest Running Federated Tourism Organization and ASEAN Awardee during the Regional Tourism Forum Awards Night in May 2022.
  5. During the Regional Tourism Forum and Awards Night in July 2022, CEZA was also recognized by DOT for its efforts to implement its programs, even at the middle of a pandemic.


The most rewarding and fulfilling remarks and actions on the tremendous success of the CBST Program come from the island residents themselves. They believe that the Program has empowered them through their active participation in the protection of their Island, and the availability of an alternative source of livelihood that they can count on. The satisfaction of the community beneficiaries is evident in the feedback they gave that rated the said Program with an “Excellent” adjectival rating.


Pangasinan State University

Best Practice Focus Area/s

Research, Extension and Innovation

Year Implemented

April 2020

This is a GBPR for COVID-19 Response entry


The university realized it had strong monitoring practices, which prevented them from attaining continuous improvement. It conceptualized an array of strategies and processes for the university to engage in Measurement, Analysis, and Improvement of Organizational Performance. Strategies ranged from creating documentation tools to conducting regular gap analyses. Overall, the university has deemed these practices useful; not only have they improved the individual performance of the university personnel, but collectively, these have led to improvements in organizational performance.

Background and Problem

Pangasinan State University acknowledges the need to measure its organizational performance if it aims to implement effective projects and achieve continuous improvement. Notably, this sentiment has even been articulated by Dr. Dexter R. Buted, the university’s president, and Dr. Paulo V. Cenas, their Vice President for their Research, Extension, and Innovation (REI) Office.

This has been brought to light because it has been a pattern that their projects start with planning and end with implementation—more often than not, monitoring and evaluation of projects are not done. Review and trend analysis are also not taken into consideration. Overall, the university had strong monitoring practices, which has prevented them from their goal of continuous improvement.

However, the university understands that simply engaging in organizational measurement is not so easy. For instance, successful measurement is dependent on the knowledge and persistence of the people involved, and they may not have such expertise available. On top of this, while a measurement endeavor may expose some issues, they may only be surface-level if done poorly; likewise, the proposed solutions will also not address the root cause of an issue. Moreover, measurements may not be accurate since realities on the ground are dynamic and constantly shifting, particularly in large organizations like Pangasinan State University (PSU).

Solution and Impact

In line with the issues raised, PSU, through its REI office, conceptualized an array of strategies and processes for the university to engage in Measurement, Analysis, and Improvement of Organizational Performance.

A key component of their solutions was the creation of the Monitoring and Evaluation Office under the Office of the Vice President of Quality Assurance (OVPQA), which institutionalized the whole endeavor of measurement and continuous improvement. Additionally, they also institutionalized many organization-wide strategies involving data gathering and analysis.

Their strategies included:

  • Creating documentation tools to be completed within a specific period and submitted regularly (weekly, quarterly, semi-annually, and annually)
  • Benchmarking against external criteria to gather comparative information from other universities and organizations at all levels.
  • Creating feedback mechanisms so the university’s management could better understand its students, stakeholders, and the rest of its clientele.
  • Ensuring that organizational performance is reviewed at different levels of the organization through the conduct of all sorts of reviews, planning sessions, and the compilation of accomplishment reports.
  • Conducting regular Gap analysis and Root Cause Analysis to evaluate the differences between the targets set and actual accomplishments

In terms of specific strategies they have implemented, one, in particular, is their utilization of a Balanced Scorecard (BSC). The BSC shows how the campus performs vis-à-vis its targets. And every quarter of the year, the university uses it to evaluate its performance against its targets and likewise apply the necessary interventions.

Another specific strategy they have adopted is their utilization of performance reviews to identify priorities for improvement and opportunities for innovation. These have been instrumental for the university in identifying needs across all aspects, from mentoring and coaching, training and hiring, their instructional delivery system, research, financial management system, and even their response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Crucial to performance improvement is also sharing and implementing best practices. Hence, the university also monitors its high-performing units and incorporates their practices across the university.

Moreover, the university has expanded its efforts to adopt external bodies to measure its performance. In particular, the university submits its programs for accreditation to the Accrediting Agency of Chartered Colleges and Universities in the Philippines (AACCUP). Through this, the university’s performance is evaluated against the agency’s standards.

Overall, the university has deemed these practices useful; not only have they improved the individual performance of the university’s personnel, but collectively, these have also led to improvements in organizational performance.


PSU has been a consistent qualifier for Performance-Based Bonus (PBB) since the implementation of this project. The university has complied with all of the mandated indicators for the PBB based on performance and its fourfold functions: instruction, research, extension, and production. The university’s performance is based on targets and indicators. Monitoring and measurement strategies have helped the university keep sight of these targets and indicators.