Medicine Cabinet


The city government of Carmona, Cavite is a showcase of how leadership and community participation result in the effective delivery of health services, particularly immunization.

Carmona City achieved 85% fully immunized child (FIC) coverage rate in 2023 and 97.8% influenza immunization rate for senior citizens, as well as recorded zero cases of measles, polio, diphtheria, and neonatal and maternal tetanus for the past several years. In 2022 and 2023, Carmona City was among the Department of Health (DoH) Golden Jab Awardees for achieving the highest vaccination coverage for measles and rubella supplemental immunization among LGUs nationwide.

How did Carmona City achieve these impressive immunization milestones?

Mayor Dahlia Loyola presented Carmona City’s immunization initiatives during the Health Connect media forum in celebration of World Immunization Week 2024 and the 50th anniversary of the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI).

First, the city government provides a supportive environment for immunization by consistently increasing its annual budget allocation for purchasing vaccination supplies and additional vaccines, alongside enhancements in health facilities and cold chain logistics.

Health workers, public school teachers and students from Carmona City participated in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Against Cervical Cancer Program Strengthening HPV Immunization towards Elimination through Leadership Development. In partnership with the Philippine Foundation for Vaccination (PFV) and Raising Awareness on Influenza to Support Elderlies (RAISE) Coalition, the LGU organizes community vaccination for senior citizens on Sept. 11 of every year in celebration of Grandparents’ Day. House-to-house immunization activities are also regularly conducted to cater to bedridden residents.

In 2022, the LGU launched the “Bata V.I.P ka sa Carmona” vaccination incentive program to encourage students from Kinder to Grade 12 to get their complete and updated COVID-19 vaccines. The program provided a P500 cash incentive to all students who completed their first two doses and succeeding two booster shots, coupled with rice assistance to their parents. Through their Biyaheng Bakuna Centers initiative, the city government provides residents, particularly those from far-flung municipalities, with free transportation to vaccination centers.

During every official event and activity, City Health Office and barangay health stations personnel include information dissemination on the importance of immunization in maintaining and improving the health of our constituents. Mothers Class sessions are held every Bakuna Day to empower parents and enhance immunization literacy.

Town hall meetings are organized, and advocacy videos are shown to build trust in vaccines and bolster vaccine uptake during supplemental immunization activities.

Second, the city government provides policy support for immunization. The then Carmona Municipal Council passed Municipal Resolution No. 018-2010 to support the DoH “Bakuna ang Una sa Sanggol at Ina” program by allocating the necessary funds for vaccination and other related EPI activities. They also issued Executive Order No. 61 directing the prioritization and intensification of Carmona’s vaccination program. The city government also utilizes the Local Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (LDRMM) Fund to purchase additional vaccines and supplies for outbreak response activities.

Third, the city government strengthens community action by initiating Barangay Emergency Health Response Teams for timely disease surveillance and reporting. Barangay health workers (BHWs) as well as family health workers (FHWs) provide invaluable support to supplemental and catch-up immunization activities.

The LGU engages with various community stakeholders and partners such as NGOs, civil society organizations, the Department of Education (DepEd), parent-teacher associations (PTAs), and religious organizations to ensure effective information dissemination and immunization demand generation.

Fourth, health workers’ skills are developed through local training and budgetary support for capacity-building seminars. Interpersonal communication training has transformed BHWs to “Bakuna Champions” who are boosting vaccination updates in Carmona City.

Lastly, the city government reoriented health services through the establishment of the Health Promotion Unit and Health Promotion Board. This reorientation underscores the shift towards prioritizing health promotion and disease prevention alongside basic health services.

Looking ahead, the city laid out the administration’s plans. First, develop a comprehensive immunization plan. Second, strengthen the city’s cold chain infrastructure. Lastly, increase the annual budget allocation for capacity development in support of immunization.

The Mandanas Ruling by the Supreme Court in 2018 and confirmed in 2019 mandates a substantial increase in the share of National Government tax revenue transfer to local governments. It is expected to provide opportunities for improving service delivery through enhanced decentralization.

While awaiting the full implementation of the Mandanas Ruling, Mayor Loyola called on the National Government to provide budgetary support to second- to sixth-class municipalities to enable them to implement effective health programs including immunization initiatives. First-class LGUs are more than capable of funding immunization programs if they want to, she added.


Teodoro B. Padilla is the executive director of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Association of the Philippines (PHAP). PHAP represents the biopharmaceutical medicines and vaccines industry in the country. Its members are in the forefront of research and development efforts for COVID-19 and other diseases that  affect Filipinos.