11 FEBRUARY 2021, MANILA— The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF)’s Project K3 has joined forces with the Department of Health (DOH) and the private sector leaders behind the “Ingat Angat” campaign to promote accurate information about COVID-19 and the vaccines while also empowering Filipinos to restart the economy. PDRF commits to provide a localized communication approach, amplify existing messages, and to innovatively support these national communication campaigns.

The Kalinga para sa Kalusugan ng Komunidad or Project K3 is an initiative of PDRF and New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Aid Programme that aims to strengthen the health care capacities of local government units, health care institutions, and local communities across the country to address COVID-19 immediate and future needs. The project’s three main targets are (1) Training 10,000 local healthcare system stakeholders (representatives from LGUs, healthcare institutions, and community/people’s organizations); (2) Distributing 5000 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) to selected healthcare facilities; and (3) Facilitating risk communications and community education through the distribution of localized information, education, communication (IEC) materials.

During a recent virtual meeting, the K3 team presented the project to the main proponents of the “Ingat Angat” information campaign, a private sector initiative aiming to encourage consumers to revitalize the economy while staying safe by following the minimum health standards. The “Ingat Angat” team was led by Margot Torres of McDonald’s Philippines, with Golda Roldan of Wunderman Thompson, Richard Arboleda of EON, and George Royeca of Angkas Philippines.

The discussions revealed the urgent need of the campaign is to have a grassroots approach to reach out to communities at the barangay level, particularly to those sectors who have expressed unwillingness to be vaccinated. “I think you’re targeting the right people and having a grassroots campaign is important. That’s a gap that you’re able to see,” said Torres.

Also present at the meeting were key stakeholders from DOH including Health Emergency Management Bureau Director Dr. Gloria Balboa, Lovelle Rago, Florinda Panlilio, Bianca Bacud, and Roberto Matala, who is also in charge of the Department’s E-Learning Academy.

Project K3 had another virtual meeting with the DOH Health Promotion and Communication Service (HPCS) team led by Director Beverly Ho. Both teams identified many opportunities for collaboration on risk communication and community education, particularly in the promotion of timely and accurate information on the COVID-19 vaccines as well as DOH’s ongoing initiatives such as the Health Schools, Healthy Communities, and the Active Transport Campaigns. Dr. Ho supported the communication goals of PDRF to go from information awareness to behavioral change and eventually paradigm shift.

“What we want to do in health promotion, at least, from the health sector point of view, is to go beyond IEC, kasi before, parang when people think about our office, they think about all the printouts, the tarps, etc. But the reality is we actually use the healthy people, healthy places framework. The norm, the culture has to be enabling of the action that we want people to take,” Ho said.

Through PDRF’s private sector network and extensive work with communities on the ground, Project K3 aims to amplify the reach of existing communication material by both the DOH and the “Ingat Angat” campaign. PDRF’s online digital learning platform— iADAPT or Innovations Academy for Disaster Awareness, Preparedness, and Training will be used to further the project’s objectives of capacity building.

PDRF has been working with the national government from the beginning of its COVID-19 response, from the provision of personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies, testing kits to the distribution of vaccines. The new partnerships established during these meetings will lead to more significant communication collaborations on the horizon.