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More on community – police, doctors, schools

027-myself-when-young-did-frequent--Doctor-and-saint-q75-780x1170By Karl Garcia

More on the Community (first article)! In the most recent presidential debate (link) a part of it was about the community, but most was about health care.

Definitely on the macro level peace and order and education  issues were tackled.

I will focus on the community level and I will discuss Community Policing, Community Doctors and Community Schools.

First I will cite some articles and provide excerpts and commentary.

Then let us look at some possible solutions to improve things.

 Community Policing

From the articles: PH law enforcers look at UK model for Bangsamoro police (link) and PH Law enforcement Officers Learn Basics of Community Policing From British Counterparts (link)

From police officers teaching subjects like substance abuse in primary schools, installing safety devices on houses and properties, organizing summer camps for restless kids, rehabilitating the community’s “Top 20” troublemakers or tracking lost horses, the North Wales police showed that knowing your community was key to an effective and trusted police force.

They also visited a massive central command in Wrexham, where emergency calls are received and where various parts and establishments are monitored by high-definition security cameras. Here, the Philippine group saw how a duty officer can control the CCTV cameras to focus on a street, an establishment or a person of interest. Shops have radios to alert the police about shoplifting, riots or other untoward incidents. From the control room, the police can track down the offenders and make arrests.

Another showcase was Caia Park in the same town, an impoverished community previously torn by racial tensions and crime but has now been transformed into a model community, and where the police perform not only law enforcement but also social work.

Winston Roddick, the first-ever elected police and crime commissioner for North Wales, has this message to the Philippine police: consulting the people is essential.

“You’ve got to keep in touch with the community. Once you’ve set it up and you’ve built the bridge, you have to cross that bridge regularly in order to maintain the relationship,” Roddick told members of a Philippine technical working group looking for a model for policing in the proposed Bangsamoro autonomous region.

My Comments: The Police is looking for a model to emulate for the eventual Bangsa Moro Police. While learning from that model they learned community policing I suggest that community polkicing model will be emulated for the national setup, since we are composed of barangays, this model would suit us perfectly.

Community Doctors

An excerpt from the article: Diagnosing The Future of Community Medicine in the Philippines (link).

Our country is in dire need of doctors for the people. The starkest indicator of this dilemma is the state of community medicine practice in the country and likewise the dwindling number of community physicians.

According to the National Institute of Health, there have been more than 9, 000 physicians who have left the country as nurses between 2002 to 2005. Likewise, the Health Alliance for Democracy said around 80 percent of public health physicians have taken up or are enrolled in nursing. This year, it said, 90 percent of municipal health officers (MHOs) are taking up nursing and are expected to leave the country. The number of obstetricians and anesthesiologists are also fast depleting, followed by pediatricians and surgeons.

In the future, the best practices in community medicine should be documented and a strong system of supportive mechanisms for community medicine practitioners both in the public and private sectors should be developed.

“The health of the poor is a cardinal indicator of the state of people’s health,” Velmonte says. Among the resolutions passed was the formation of a community physicians’ organization to advance the discipline not only in the academe and medical community but also to gain ground in the promotion of health and development for the marginalized sectors of society.

My Comments: The priority of graduates is to go to big hospitals,there is only a few or even none left for the barrios. There must be ways to have doctors for the barrios, a doctor that came from that barrio would be preferred.

Community Education.

Below is the abstract of an essay: The Community School and Its Relevance to the Present Times (link)

The community school, pioneered among others by Dr. Jose V. Aguilar, a superintendent of schools in Iloilo and later Dean of the U.P. College of Education, is distinguished by elementary schoolchildren tilling little plots of land in front of their countryside schools. The concept left a deep mark on Philippine education, and should become a historical concern of educators, especially in its use for the present times. For the community school did not only mean getting schoolchildren to learn the farming skills of their parents; it also meant a three-way partnership between teachers, parents, and community in the insurance of a practical education both for the nation’s children, and the nation’s adults as well, using the vernacular as medium of instruction. Can the community school concept be used at present to solve the problems of poverty, unemployment and underemployment, taking into account the possibility that the movement that spawned it was a potentially subversive pursuit?

My comments: The rural communities out numbers the urban ones. The above case study is for agricultural communities. But we know from anecdotes that children cross rivers and mountains just to reach the only school nearest to their home, some get tired and quit school. Some are war torn, how can they continue schooling, they just join the rebels.

What Can be Done?

What can be done to improve policing,medical care and schooling at the Barangay or LGU level?

Subsidiarity or joint responsibility of national and local authorities.

Knowing your community is an important step, not necessarily knowing each and everyone in the population, but that could be a bonus. I mean knowing their needs, their wants and their problems. In the article Subsidiarity, Solidarity, Humanity (link):

  • Subsidiarity- every level knows its duties and rights.
  • Solidarity- different parts of the society help each other.
  • Humanity- gives people slack.

In policing

With knowing your community, people could watch each other’s backs,more trust can be developed if the community trust each other.By trust that includes trusting them not to commit crime including petty crime.Each and every member of the community know their roles and duties and their rights.

For schooling

One Measure is civic Groups cooperating to get this done. An example would be. Lumad Schools – NGOs assist in establishing Lumad Schools. In Mindanao, it is populated by Muslims and Christians. Lumads need to retain their heritage, the solution for this are Lumad schools. If there are NGO sponsored Lumad Schools, there must also be secular schools which is the ideal setup for public schools.

Note from Irineo: community schooling similar to Lumad schools might work in any barangay – something like homeschooling but for a group that live close together and have Internet.

For healthcare

More scholars sponsored by community, a presidential candidate suggests that upon graduation the said scholar must give back to the community at least four years of service. This is to be repeated as often of possible.

Public hospitals offer more benefits than private ones, that is why public hospitals are preferred by medical professionals. I suggest that the community hospital no matter the size offers the same benefits to the community doctor.

Note from Irineo: barefoot doctors (link) may also be worth looking into.

Thanks to Karl Garcia for this article!

Irineo B. R. Salazar, München, 25 April 2016.


7 comments to More on community – police, doctors, schools


    Two private Mindanao hospitals operated by Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, Inc. (MPHHI), have recently announced their purchase of advanced medical technologies developed by GE Healthcare, an investment which aims to improve disease detection and treatment in the southern most island.GE’s first wide-bore MRI system in the country will be available at Davao Doctors Hospital (DDH). The West Metro Medical Center in Zamboanga City will install GE’s wide-range of multi-modality equipment which includes a CT scanner, fixed and mobile X-ray, surgical C-arm, ultrasound, anesthesia machine and infant warmer.

    • I think that the Tanod was instituted in the Marcos era…

      but that era seems to have turned the barangay into an autocratic institution so very often.

      Besides subdivisions are usually in theory part of the barangay but in practice enclaves of their own.

      Forbes Park if I remember correctly was built in 1949, then the other elite communities cropped up, first slums also after the war.

      Middle-class gated communities seem to have started in the 1960s/1970s if I am not mistaken, coupled with growing Manila slums.

  • karlgarcia

    Before barangays we had community schools.

    We had cabezas de barangay during the Spanish Regime and capitán del barrio under the Americans. The first cabezas were pre-Hispanic datus and posts were generally handed down within the family even after the position became nominally elective. Respected citizens, their task was basically to settle disputes and, generally, maintain peace and order.

    The barangay system was institutionalized under the Republic and today barangay captains and councilors are hotly contested elective positions with concerns ranging from cats, talent shows, and traffic improvement, to crime prevention.

    Public school teachers played a key role in the transition between the old and new barangay, notably under President Elpidio Quirino; Secretaries of Education Manuel Gallego, Prudencio Langcauon, and Cecilio Putong; and Bureau of Public Schools director Benito Pañgilinan.

    During the American Period and Commonwealth, public education sought to prepare the young to be citizens of an independent country. Stress was on book learning and was dictated from the Manila Central Office.

    With independence and the necessary post-war reconstruction and development, the idea was born that besides emphasis on child growth and needs, education should be geared to the improvement of community living.

    Teachers were highly regarded, considered incorruptible, idealistic, and capable and were asked to take the lead in forming community organizations that would identify needs and oversee implementation. They were to be organizers, enablers, or convenors and not be community leaders themselves. School lessons were to be correspondingly adjusted.

    The idea first took root in Iloilo under superintendent José Aguilár and in Bohol under superintendent Santiago Dizon. At Santa Barbara, Iloilo, the población was thought of as an educational unit. In Bataan, puróks were identified, each with 30 to 50 families, viewed as “little democracies” with their respective leaderships and programs of work.

    Other school divisions followed suit and good progress was made notably in Cagayan (Miguél Gaffud), Bataan (Juan Laya), Pangasinan (Federico Piedád), Capiz, (Río Ayco), Romblon (Fructoso Ilar), and Pampanga. Projects including the following were initiated:

    •Economic security—home and vegetable gardens; orchards and reforestation; poultry, pig raising; increasing mango yield; better farming methods; home industries and fairs; barrio plant nurseries; and storage facilities

    •Health and sanitation—construction of toilets, improving drainage (batalan), prevention of roaming animals, improvement of homes, nutrition awareness, first aid facilities, and puericulture centers

    •Cultural and social betterment—literacy classes and organization of reading centers; revival of folk dance and singing; and alternatives to gambling and cockfighting

    •Citizenship training—compliance with law and obligations of citizenship, payment of taxes

    •Adult education—reading vernacular works, numbers, and signs; writing personal letters and notes; and simple calculations

    •Values—regard for manual labor


    • “During the American Period and Commonwealth, public education sought to prepare the young to be citizens of an independent country. Stress was on book learning and was dictated from the Manila Central Office.

      With independence and the necessary post-war reconstruction and development, the idea was born that besides emphasis on child growth and needs, education should be geared to the improvement of community living.”

      This is the most significant part… where did all of that go and when did it get lost?

      • sonny

        My primary culprit was the WW2. The peacetime construction of government, body politic and socio-economic modules were supposed to be built with the 10-year Commonwealth as the first stage. Instead, the body and spirit of the nation was mortally gutted. A nominal examination of fotos from the pre-war physical plant of the country displays the high-civic spirit of the nation. Just my take. I remember an ‘idlyllic,’ albeit a modicum, existence of my Manila youth.

  • karlgarcia

    What happened to the doctor to the barrios program?

    What has happened to the “Doctors to the Barrios” program? Not much has been heard of the government project that then Health Secretary Juan Flavier pioneered in 1993, which encouraged medical graduates to consider spending a couple of years or so of their professional practice in some of the country’s poorest and most remote barrios and villages, where healthcare needs are at their direst.

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    The DOH page for doctors to the barrios

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