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Seal of Health Governance

The SOHG is a monitoring and evaluation initiative that ensures quality implementation and sustainability of health programmes of the municipality by empowering leadership and governance capacities of community leaders, and providing recognition through annual award ceremonies.





Municipality of Del Carmen, Surigao Del Norte, Philippines

Founding year



Organizational structure


Health focus

Primary Health Care

Actors Involved

State, Communities

Programme Focus

Service Delivery, Community Mobilisation




The Municipality of Del Carmen is located in Siargao Islands with a poverty incidence of 58%. Del Carmen is considered a geographically isolated and disadvantaged area (GIDAs). The town has a population of around 20,000 who are mostly farmers and fisherfolk. The Local Chief Executive (LCE) cited poor health indicators, poor data management and limited number of health professionals to cater to 20 communities of the town as the key health challenges of Del Carmen. Other priority health needs of the town include maternal and child health nutrition, family planning, especially for the fisherfolks and their families, teenage pregnancy and Tuberculosis.

“Always believe that the community know more than you do. Believe in that. Then give them the opportunity to share what they know, then do it.”


– Hon. Alfredo Corro II, Mayor, Del Carmen Municipality, Surigao del Norte, Social Innovator


The SOHG is a monitoring and evaluation programme that ensures quality implementation and sustainability of health programmes of the municipality by empowering leadership and governance capacities of community leaders. The framework follows the WHO’s pillars on health systems’ strengthening. Health targets and priority health indicators of the community are collaboratively identified with the Municipal Health Officer. The programme provides annual financial and in-kind incentives to the best performing villages of the Municipality. The Municipal Health Office perform their assessment on a quarterly basis and scores are consolidated annually. The programme culminates in their annual Health Summit, which is organized every July where awards for the Seal of Health Governance are given to the winning barangays.

“I saw the engagement of barangay officials with the local government, and also the community participation. Before… most of the town officials were passive. Through the Seal of Health Governance, you really see the town officials taking the lead. They are the ones who take the initiative in solving their problems.”


– DOH representative, Del Carmen Municipality, Surigao del Norte

Three years after its implementation, the LCE noted significant improvements in their priority health indicators. In terms of maternal health, they achieved zero maternal deaths in 2013 and 2015.

Improvements were also seen in the detection and cure rates of major communicable diseases such as Tuberculosis and Schistosomiasis present in the locality. The facility-based deliveries and births attended by skilled birth attendants are at 95% due to availability and accessibility of the 24/7 birthing facility. The LCE also noted better financial allocation due to a more evidence-based planning, target-setting and community leadership support for health programmes.


Investment in the leadership improvement at various levels of health governance is a powerful strategy. When local leaders are capacitated, they can meaningfully participate in understanding local health and development issues, and in the co-creation of innovative solutions. SOHG ensures sufficient and high-quality services through routine monitoring and evaluation and empowers communities to be more active in addressing the key challenges they face.