Universal healthcare available to every Pasigueño continues to be one of the city's priority thrusts. The City Government puts a premium on its constituents’ health and wellbeing. Currently, the priority is on the full implementation of the Universal Healthcare in Pasig City.
Enacted in 2019, the Universal Health Care or Republic Act 11223 aims to expand the coverage of the country’s National Health Insurance Program to cover all Filipinos and to put in place reforms that can improve the delivery of health services in the country.
The local government has sought as many ways as possible to provide quality and accessible healthcare to its citizens, especially at times of major community health upheavals. From free x-rays, children's vaccinations, and access to doctors' consultations, there have been many avenues for Pasiguenos to receive the high standard of healthcare they deserve.
The City offers health services through four main centers with various specializations:
Pasig City Children’s Hospital (PCCH)
Center for Dialysis, Health Lifestyle, Ambulatory Surgency, Maternity and Newborn Care of Pasig City (CHAMP)
Pasig City General Hospital (PCGH)
Hospice Home Care Program
From its former iteration, the City Health Office has been transformed into the City Health Department. This renewal was brought about by the restructuring of the unit into nine divisions, with six sections and 1,488 additional plantilla positions.
With this additional manpower, the LGU aims to ensure that every Pasigeño will have access to health centers that can respond to their medical needs.
Furthermore, the procurement and disbursement of much needed medical supplies and equipment have been further streamlined. Processing documents as well as point persons for each department and locations have been clearly delineated and identified. This ensures that deliveries are brought to the appropriate locations that need them the most, with documentation and accountability for all personnel handling the supplies.
Pasigueños who have been admitted to the two city-owned hospitals, with Pasig City covering all the expenses of their stay. This is part of the city’s universal healthcare initiative that has, at its core, the No Balance Billing Policy.
The No Balance Billing Policy enacted by the city in tandem with the national initiative ensures that Pasigueños receive a high standard of care without being concerned about how they will pay for their stay. For many people, they hesitate to reach out to medical healthcare out of the concern that they may not be able to afford the healthcare costs.
But with Pasig City's No Balance Billing policy along with the national programs enacted for universal healthcare, citizens can now freely visit the designated health offices and centers without the fear of being turned away without a deposit or downpayment. PhilHealth’s coverage is expanded by the LGU to accommodate even more citizens.
The urgent need for universal healthcare has been deeply underscored by the urgency of the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to grip the country.
Pasig City rose to the occasion through the various its COVID-19 health response:
Transforming Pasig City Children's Hospital into the COVID-19 Referral Center
Conversion of Rizal High School (once the biggest high school in the world) into the Centralized Quarantine Facility
The establishment of the Pasig City Molecular Laboratory for ECLIA and RT PCR Testing
Pasig City constantly monitors the health status of its constituents and the state of each barangay's active COVID-19 cases. It also provides weekly updates on numbers and statistics regarding people who have recovered.
One of the groundbreaking advancements in digitizations and streamlining of patient health is thr Pasig Health Monitor. The Pasig Health Monitor has three components: Pasig Pass, Patient Records, and Resource Management.
While most citizens are aware of the Pasig Pass acting as the city’s QR-code-based contact tracing system, it’s expanded to become a multi-use system that may be utilized in other city-wide programs and activities.
To start, the Pasig Pass has become a component of a larger network of an integrated health monitoring system. It’s not only a QR code-based contact tracing solution—it has now become a comprehensive database of the health status of Pasiguenos, including COVID-19 vaccination status, which is used for verification by businesses throughout the city.
Furthermore, the Pasig Health Monitor connected to the Pasig Pass provides insight on the overall health of Pasiguenos. It allows health center personnel to get patients’ basic health information, giving them their medical history at a glance.
And finally, it gives the Pasig City Health Department valuable health information about the public at large. What are the most common conditions and comorbidities among Pasiguenos? Which conditions are more prevalent among the citizens and thus need more targeted attention?
All of these crucial health data can come from the integrated Pasig Health Monitor systems.
The local government aims to establish a high standard of education in the city. This is done through numerous provisions, projects, and programs aimed to enhance learning experiences and opportunities to teach.
Providing Access to Quality Education and Resources
The Pasig City Scholarship Program has continued to empower and enable students to gain access to the education that allows them to reach their fullest potential. Scholars receive allowances and financial aid that addresses both their school fees and their daily needs as students. Through the years, Pasig City has witnessed annual increase in the beneficiaries of the PCS Program. During the pandemic, the PCS Program has started extending its coverage to include students of private schools.
The digitalization and transformation of the program oversaw the move from having to physically collect their stipends to instead utilizing cashless payments such as Paymaya and LandBank cash cards to gain access to their fees. This not only streamlined the process of receiving stipends but also ensured that there is proper documentation for the transactions.
The City Government has likewise pushed for the continuous improvement and maintenance of existing public school buildings. This ensures that schools in Pasig City are well-kept and in good condition, making students and teachers comfortable as they go through the school day. Furthermore, it prevents health risks and gives students proper spaces that will motivate them to learn and enjoy schoolwork.
These buildings are not just institutions for learning. They are also multi-use spaces that act as voting precincts and evacuation locations for families during times of environmental calamity. Because of these reasons, the buildings are continually improved and maintained for the use of all, not just students and educators.
Pasig City continues to add to the features of educational institutions, including providing audiovisual equipment, better learning programs, and services.
Most importantly, the city aims to provide continuing education to its student population regardless of the environmental and sociocultural issues that surround them.
To further support public school students, the City Government of Pasig launched the Malusog na Batang Pasig, which entails the monthly provision of food packs to elementary and high school students. These food packs contain both ingredients and ready-to-eat meals that are “Sangkap Pinoy” certified by the Department of Health, which means that they contain nutrients that are good for the brain development of students.
COVID-19 Distance Learning Response to the City’s Educational Needs
One of the priority thrusts of the City Government of Pasig City is to develop a comprehensive strategy that prioritizes education and learning. This has been more evident than ever in the broad steps taken to ensure that students and educators get the support that they need during the COVID-19 pandemic response.
To enable students and educators to continue their learning and development, Pasig City has extended various programs and resource allowances to support their needs. The city provides learning technology and gadgets, software, and a connectivity allowance to students so they can learn from the safety of their homes during the pandemic.
During the pandemic and during face-to-face school days, educators are given learning software and supplies for printing educational modules for their students. These include resources for printing tests, coursework, papers, and more.
Moreover, the City also provided students with food packs that help them maintain sufficient nutrition during the pandemic response. This enables them to stay healthy and receptive to learning.
Housing is a basic need for every constituent of Pasig City. It continues to be one of the largest uses of land area within the locale, with a land area of 3,539.80 hectares of space, with 42.68% of it used for residential housing.
There are 30 barangays, 2 districts, and 1 lone congressional district within the city.
With a population of roughly 828,000, finding housing for all of Pasig City’s citizens continues to be a challenge, even with the city’s expansive land area. Because of this urgent need for housing, Pasig City has enacted numerous programs and housing initiatives to ensure that each citizen has ample shelter for themselves and their families.
When citizens are provided with safe, appropriate shelter, they have less stress and worries about daily lives. They are able to put their focus on their daily employment and work without concerns about where to rest themselves and their families at night.
With this focus on this social and economic need, the city has taken steps to ensure the quality of infrastructure as well as reliable access to essential utilities such as water and electricity. The goal is to provide every person and every family with humane and suitable living conditions conducive to their growth and health.
Regardless of their status as settlers, Pasig City believes in their right to safe and adequate shelter. To this end, the city has placed focus on creating and providing housing projects for informal settler families, especially if they live in high-danger or hazard areas.
An example of these areas is the Manggahan Floodway, which is often at risk for flooding and high waters during times of typhoons and other meteorological events. It is of utmost importance that they be provided shelter in a safe space and away from these regions to prevent the risk to their health and safety, and that of others living in nearby areas.
It is the City Government’s priority to not demolish or push for relocation of the informal settler families if the housing projects are not ready for occupancy at present. In order to maintain this strategy, the City Government has continually maintained and updated an inventory of available land area within the city that can be tagged as an appropriate location for housing projects.
The City has also allocated funds for the acquisition of these lands so they may be purchased and repurposed as housing projects as soon as possible. Every step of the procedure is performed in accordance with the law and relevant regulations regarding the acquisition of land for housing projects.
Substantial progress has been made in allocating land, developing them into housing projects, and resettling informal settler families into their new residences. Not all of these resettlement projects are found within Pasig City’s boundaries but they are still residences that have been carefully built and inspected to ensure the health and safety of the families expected to live within them.
The breakdown of the existing housing projects and the families living therein (as of 2021) are as follows:
For housing projects found within Pasig City itself, the City has also placed focus on improving the facilities, with better utilities and features. 62 million pesos were allotted for the improvement of these projects, with an additional 100 million for acquiring more land.
To ensure that each project are up to the standards of both the city and the people to be living in them, the LGU has maintained consistent and continual communication through multiple feedback channels. This allows Pasig City to address residents’ concerns about facilities and repairs, payments, and other issues.
An HOA or homeowners association has also been formed to set accountability and communication between the LGU, residents, and National Government.
Beyond these additions, the Local Housing Board has also been reactivated and expanded, giving them more staff and resources to aid Pasiguenos develop residential and housing products in a sustainable way and makes use of available land space in the city in ways that serve families.
With the goal of empowering Pasig City’s communities, the Community Mortgage Plan gives local homeowners associations for the development of a strategy and guidelines to assist residents with their housing financial needs. Led by the Social Housing Finance Corporation, partnering with the LGU, low-income groups are given the opportunity to inspect, acquire, and develop available parcels of land.
From here, they have the opportunity to own their own homes and land, with titles and documentation, from which they can establish their families without fear of being relocated. The transfer of titles of houses along the Marikina River has begun, along with surveys of other areas that can be used for the project, such as the areas in Paseo de Animalis and Brgy. Santolan
To improve Pasig City Services and the standard of living for Pasigueños, the Social Welfare Assistance Center was created. This center provides multiple services to Pasigueños, which include daycare assistance for parents, reach out and rescue operations for street children and indigent populations, and support for citizens who have been victims of typhoons, floods, fires, and more.
Comprehensive street children profiling is part of the social welfare and assistance center. The SWAC has consistently been aiding indigent children by giving them protection, providing programs that give them the resources and avenues to improve quality of life, and taking note of their origins. They ensure that the children are accounted for and are recognized by the city. In further emphasis towards the welfare of children, Early Childhood Care and Development is another thrust of the SWAC, with daycare services workshops that promote better childcare and updating workers on new techniques and methods.
Kanlungan sa Pasig is one of SWAC’s most prominent programs, and it protects children in conflict with the law, or at risk. It also provides shelter and a safe haven for teen moms, giving them the support they need to continue their growth while simultaneously caring for their pregnancies and infants. Kanlungan is also home for elderly individuals with no homes of their own, giving them a safe place to stay.
As one of the city’s most well-known social assistance program, these Christmas food packs are anticipated by majority of Pasigueño families and are considered a significant supplementary aid, especially to low-income families who use the packs for their celebratory meals on Christmas Eve.
One of the ways that Pamaskong Handog has steadily been improved through the years is an added variety to the goods produced, tracking the progress of distribution digitally, and through employing the PasigPass as a method of verification for claiming. The use of the PasigPass aimed to address growing concerns in past years regarding officials hoarding food packs, unfair distribution, or people from other LGUs receiving them while registered Pasigueños went without.
Approximately 400,000 families were provided gift bags in 2021, and distribution typically begins at least a month before Christmas day to ensure that all families are given the opportunity to claim their gift bags. The gifts are given to everyone: from lower-income families to families in exclusive subdivisions. This promotes inclusivity throughout the city.
Food coupons and food packs are common support systems in place in Pasig City–this was most evident during the pandemic as these were distributed in addition to the cash aid. Food packs are also given out as emergency supplies to citizens affected by disasters such as floods, fires, and more.
Another food-based supplementary form of assistance comes from the Community Kitchen, which had provided nearly 10,000 meals a day during the height of the pandemic, and still remains functional as it feeds citizens and frontliners.
Pasig City has provided financial assistance to many informal sectors that have been directly affected by disasters and socioeconomic upheavals. During the pandemic, the LGU distributed financial assistance to Pasigueños. 196,955 beneficiaries who were unable to claim supplementary funds in the National distribution were provided by the LGU with SAP, amounting to 68.5 million pesos.
The City has also provided cash gifts to senior citizens and people with disabilities. These are separate from pensions and other discounts provided to them.
Another of the city’s financial aid programs is providing support for informal sectors such as market vendors, tricycle and jeepney drivers, and other demographics who become heavily affected by changes in the economy, such as with the pandemic.
The GAD compound is a combination of social welfare departments throughout the city: The Social Welfare Assistance Center (SWAC), the Office of Senior Citizens’ Affairs (OSCA), Livelihood, the Pasig City Hospice, and Persons with Disabilities Affairs Office (PDAO). All of these crucial social welfare functions operate in one area for coordination and cooperation with one another. Livelihood, in particular, is a very important aspect of promoting social welfare in the city, as they aid Pasigueños in developing the skills they need for potential job opportunities. And all these trainings have zero to minimal cost for the city and the citizens.
Pasig City also provides aid by helping micro and small businesses to get on their feet. TAPAT provides burgeoning, homebased entrepreneurs with a small startup capital loan. Not only does this alleviate financial crisis issues, but it enables families to start their own little business in the city and the opportunity to develop it into something bigger. In turn, more small businesses appearing in Pasig City and growing will create jobs and generate incomes.
One of the major thrusts of Pasig City’s new five-point agenda is to ensure that the local government unit operates with the best possible standard of transparency and competency in all levels.
There has been greater emphasis on providing transparency for the citizens, giving them multiple channels to reach out and learn about how their government is serving them, and whether or not it is done in a manner that is considered honest and professional.
This drive and emphasis on good governance have led to many projects and initiatives among the different offices and departments within the LGU, providing the citizens with more services to communicate, and more ways by which the government can respond to their needs. This citizen-centric approach has been lauded by national and international organizations alike as a new system of accountability and service to citizens.
A significant part of Pasig City’s transparency and accountability mechanisms is through making the most of Freedom of Information. The FOI Program in Pasig City saw the passing of Ordinance No. 37, s. 2018 (Pasig Transparency Mechanism Ordinance), which is a transparency measure by way of campus caravan at Kapitolyo High School.
Furthermore, the LGU has added numerous materials (brochures, information posters, bulletins, briefers, and more), kiosks, and stations throughout the city’s information hubs such as schools, the public library, and city hall. This provides citizens with access to various information pertaining to the LGU’s operations.
There are also designated FOI corners in the city Government, with FOI-ready computers that welcome citizens and employees alike to request various publicly available information.
Another major step in providing transparency and accountability is the development and launching of Pasig City’s “Ugnayan sa Pasig” Help Desk, a citizen’s assistance desk. The focus of this department is to create an informed and involved population within Pasig City.
Through this department, both Pasig and non-Pasig residents can request for any publicly available information as found in the LGU’s records. Furthermore, they can use this help desk for concerns, complaints, and issues concerning the programs, projects, and activities of the city. This ensures that when a person, a group, or a community has an issue or a complaint, the LGU is held accountable in hearing it and that they can take the appropriate action necessary to resolve the issue.
Acting as a citizen’s tipline, Pasigueños, and even City Hall employees can report instances of anomalies, inappropriate behavior, concerns, and grievances about the LGU’s procedures and work. As part of the push towards transparency, this is a new means of communicating issues large and small that comes from every corner of Pasig City, ensuring that all issues are received, sorted, and addressed in a timely manner.
Furthermore, this help desk has been invaluable in aiding the push towards good governance. It gives citizens and other employees alike the opportunity to speak up on incidences of misbehavior, corruption, and malafesiance in the local government. This is the first time that such a broad level of access was provided to citizens and employees, and it has received a highly positive reaction from the people who have made use of it.
This is primarily owed to how people not only are able to report the anomalies, but also see action being taken. They are updated as the case progresses and they are able to see definitive action taken upon them. Previously, there had been cases of people stepping forward, but they were unable to determine real resolutions to the complaints and issues they have highlighted.
Now, thanks to the Freedom of Information Hel Desk, the push towards good governance and transparency, they are able to see action taken quickly on local issues.
The City has made a full inventory of all assets, supplies, and available equipment, alongside ensuring that they all have the right paperwork and documentation. This adds to the LGU’s accountability for the purchases, usage, and purposes of these tools and equipment, so all items are also accounted for.
This accountability for the city's assets and supplies ensures that there is no question as to where the money went, and how that money is being used by the city. The paperwork and documentation is meticulously followed, from the moment they are proposed, submitted for bidding, the awarding of service providers, and more.
Furthermore, the inventory allows the local government unit to determine which equipment is still functional and operational, and whether they need replacement or repair. Regular updates are provided on status of available equipment and machinery, and their repair status. Their workability becomes part of of the primary concerns of the city–if the item can still be repaired and used, or whether a new one needs to be procured.
Inclusivity is a major part of the procurement process. It has also been made more transparent as part of the thrust of good governance. Live, competitive bidding allows people to see what is being bid upon and what service providers are offering.
Furthermore, the Approved Budget for the Contract or the ABC is also made transparent and is clearly set so there is little to no change of “padding” the costs. It creates conditions wherein the best possible cost is determined by the LGU and the service provider.
Reforms in the process include live feeds of the bidding, so citizens can view the bids in real time. A fully functional Bids and Awards Committee and its Secretariat details and lists the items for procurement, the awarding, and more. This information is also made available to citizens who request these details.
One of the most noteworthy developments in the Good Governance thrust is the cutting out of “red tape” issues and concerns, especially when it comes to doing business. In an effort to make Pasig’s business market more competitive, and to urge local business owners to thrive, Business One-Stop Shops (BOSS) have been opened in Pasig City Hall, Barangay Manggahan, and in Ayala the 30th.
These One-Stop Shops enable business owners to gather and submit all the necessary forms that they’ll need to open their own business, large or small, within Pasig City. They will no longer have to visit multiple departments, wait in multiple queues, and endure a long period of processing to get their business papers handled and validated. Everything from their business license applications to sanitary permits and the like can be handled more easily.
The establishment of these shops are considered a significant step towards making it easier for existing businesses to continue their work and to thrive, but also for startups and small businesses to take root in the city.
Another purpose of the One Stop Shops is to decongest the long lines and processing within Pasig City Hall. Where there had previously been crowds of business owners and representatives waiting in line to get processed, there is more room for other issues and concerns within City Hall. Business owners now have the option to visit the One Stop Shop nearest to their location and handle their concerns there.
The push towards making business easier doesn’t just revolve around private businesses in Pasig City. The administration has also ensured that there is a Citizen’s Charter developed for every entity within the LGU. The different departments were tasked to create a table of their processes and the steps pertaining it, especially for needs that are commonly requested by Pasigueños.
The charters are then made public and posted in digital and physical forms, which ensures that every Pasigueño visiting the respective departments are able to see which procedures and documentation are available in the department, the steps needed to acquiring these documentation, and how long it should potentially take them to get it processed.
Not only does this make the procedure simpler and more transparent to individuals, it also creates accountability within departments. They are held to the standard written in the Citizen’s Charter, with the goal of meeting the timelines and steps outlined therein, prompting them to maintain a high standard of performance.
A sign of good and responsible governance is ensuring that employees are rewarded for their hard work and good performance. This is why under the most recent administration, Pasig City has extended multiple efforts to regularize their job order, casual, and contractual workers.
Job orders, casual, and contractual employees do not typically have the benefits of regular and permanent employees in the LGU. Many of these personnel have nevertheless spent years of diligent work for the city. Thus, they are now being provided with benefits that they deserve – this means having retirement benefits, better pay, and more.
Rewarding hardworking employees, providing better compensation, and giving them the job security that they deserve prompts local government employees to work better, harder, and ultimately dissuades them from the temptation of giving in to bribery or under-the-table deals. It helps nip concerns about corruption right in the bud, as employees are no longer in a situation where they are tempted to give in to illegal maneuvers for extra pay.
Pasig City Government Employees Management System or simply Pasig City GEMS has become a cornerstone in the better management and development of employees, leading to better governance in the LGU. This centralized employee management system handles over 10,000 of Pasig City’s LGU employees, creating a comprehensive and organized system that tracks multiple processes.
Pasig City GEMS is a complete HR management system and systemic data collection operation. It enables the Human Resource Development Office (HRDO) of Pasig City to make accurate employee decisions based on real time data. It was developed in full compliance with issuances and guidelines of the Civil Service Commission.
It also acts as a systemic archive of an employee’s log-ins, log-outs, daily time sheets, information notices, Personal Data Sheets, and their training and workshops. HRDO has used GEMS to centralize training programs and keep track of every employee’s progress, helping them develop their skills that will aid them in career advancement. It helps them hire, train, and manage employees in a system that facilitates honing highly talented and skilled staff that are placed in positions throughout the city government that benefits the most from their abilities.