City Government of Tagum
Best Practice Focus Area/s
Strategy, Citizens / Customers
1 March 2020
This is a GBPR Entry
The practice labeled as HEAL Boost or Health Education, Employment And Livelihood Boost, is the LGU of Tagum’s packaged program that integrates recovery strategies, which signifies a crucial intervention duly established to heal and help the masses recover from the pandemic, particularly in adapting to the new educational setting, significantly alleviating the psychosocial concerns and improving access to employment and livelihood opportunities. The practice comprises a loan grant capitalization with zero interest to spur livelihood; an accessible online database for local job vacancies; actual and online livelihood demonstration; online lectures and discussions on adapting the new types of learning and mental health concerns; and financial grants through emergency employment.
Background and Problem
The unprecedented outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic forced the city to enforce lockdowns and other stringent restrictions to contain the virus. Unfortunately, those impositions led to chains of events that particularly aggravated the standard mode of education and psychosocial concerns of the people. It affected public service as it incurred impairment in the businesses and economies, stimulated the spike of the unemployment rate, and canceled/stopped most of the government’s face-to-face services.
The LGU of Tagum cannot allow for its programs and services to be impeded, considering that the people heavily rely on the government. The LGU of Tagum cannot neglect the people’s dire situation. This was why it developed a strategic approach to the citizens’ well-being. As the city strives for health, education, employment generation, a better standard of living, and improved quality of life for all, the LGU of Tagum produced the HEAL Boost. This is an intervention to develop policies and a responsive strategic plan to help improve the quality of life of the people amidst the pandemic.
Solution and Impact
To assure that they have disseminated the practice in the grassroots, the Barangay Education and Employment Desk Officers (BEEDOs), being the implementing affiliates of the organization and who are respectively dispersed in the 23 barangays of the city, were promptly coordinated. To efficiently deliver the practice’s wide-ranging facilitations to the greatest number of people, it utilized other platforms, such as social media, to reach the people to access the program’s services conveniently.
They tapped reputable and knowledgeable speakers to deliver online lectures and discussions addressing different concerns about coping with the new teaching styles and assuring the citizens of the different issues arising.
There was also the active participation of reputable health professionals in the locality and Guidance Counselors and Career Advocates of Tagum City (GCCAT)–an organization that comprises adept professionals that helps to widen the reach of participants amidst restrictions and bridge connection between the people. They implemented the program through social media, reaching many vulnerable populations, especially learners.
The HEAL Boost per se will heal the mental health aspect, boost the employment status and adapt to the new scheme of education through information and education conducted through social media. Social media is a good channel for people to gain a greater awareness of the various issues concerning education and promote the enrichment of knowledge and empowerment among the constituents.
Also, engaging people, especially the underprivileged, with technical assistance, capability enhancement, and livelihood assistance through micro-credit; introducing them to employment opportunities through the digitized repository for job vacancies (which is being constantly updated through active coordination with private sector establishments in the local context) and finally, endorsing those affected by the predicament through the provision of financial grant assistance in the form of compensation for a temporary work of community service.
The practice served over 32,000 citizens from the one hundred ninety-six (196) Tagumenyos from different sectors. They were given loan capitalization with zero interest for their livelihood undertakings with a total consolidated grant of Php 1,499,000.00.
The program or the best practice became an instrument to substantially address serious issues highlighting limited job vacancies, mental health issues, difficulties adapting to the new academic learning, and inadequate livelihood opportunities.
Through the joint efforts of the different stakeholders, the practice catered to countless individuals who have engaged in employment activities. This was perceived as one of the major contributors by the Department of Labor and Employment since it exceeded its target in employment generation in Region XI. With the social media content available not just on online platforms but also in schools, there was no reported incidence of suicide among the learners.
Also, a total number of nineteen (19) actual livelihood demonstrations were facilitated in conformance with the new normal catering to 315 participants, while seven (7) online livelihood demonstrations were published and catered to 422 clients. The organization is optimistic that the clients’ knowledge will be very handy as they begin their journey toward self-employment activities. Six (6) educational lectures and discussions were posted online, such as providing mental health awareness through its 3rd episode entitled, “Mental Health: Its Implication in the Development of Depression and Suicidal Tendencies among Teenagers,” which garnered a consolidated number of over 30,000 viewers and still counting. It can be concluded that it played a vital role in the zero incidence of suicide in the community, especially among the learners.
The organization achieved 4,063 consolidated employment opportunities for over hundred (100) legitimate employers encoded in the online repository for jobs. Last, the program assisted 1,216 Tagumenyos displaced and affected by the closure of Tagum City Night Market, namely the ambulant vendors, locally stranded individuals, and returning OFWs. There were also emergency works for social, community, and government projects such as barangay disinfection, the campaign against the pandemic, and agricultural works themed as “Gulayan sa Pamayanan,” and provided the beneficiaries with insurance, personal protective equipment, and compensation of Php 3,960.00 each.
In addition, it exceeded the target goal of the organization in terms of the number of clients benefitted, totaling over 32,000 clients, a lot of times higher than before. Because of this, it has earned appreciation from the clientele and fellow associates in government service. Guided by its declared policies to boost employment, adjust to new learning schemes, and improve the mental health of vulnerable sectors, the program incessantly attained its goals and objectives.