First National Environmental and Occupational Health Forum
The Philippines is experiencing rapid industrialization and urbanization resulting in various environmental and occupational health problems. Among these are deaths attributed to inadequate water supply and sanitation facilities; chronic diseases brought about by air, water and food contamination; general degradation of the environment; and overpopulation. There is recognition that poor appreciation of the relationship among development, environment, and health can only be addressed by informing and engaging stakeholders to enable them to influence environmental and occupational health policies.
The College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila, being the SEAMEO TropMed Regional Centre for Public Health, is in the forefront of capacity-building activities and advocacies for the improvement of the public health landscape in the country. The DEOH contributes to these initiatives by fostering dialogues and discussions, encouraging sharing of information and resources, and promoting collaborative activities among stakeholders to discuss possible solutions to address challenges in the field of EOH.
About the First National Environmental and Occupational Health Forum
The First National Environmental and Occupational Health Forum, with the theme “Challenges and Opportunities in Environmental and Occupational Health,” provided a platform for environmental and occupational health practitioners, researchers, policy makers, academicians and students to broaden their knowledge on pressing global and national concerns like climate change, poor occupational health conditions of informal sector workers, problems with the notification system for occupational diseases and injuries, issues on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WaSH) in healthcare facilities, indoor air pollution, and carcinogenic potential of fish from Laguna Lake.
The one-day forum was held at the AG New World Manila Bay Hotel. It brought together 137 stakeholders from the Philippines and abroad. UP Manila’s Vice Chancellor for Administration, Dr. Arlene Samaniego, welcomed the participants and guests to the forum on behalf of UP Manila Chancellor Carmencita D. Padilla. Her speech put emphasis on addressing the current environmental and occupational health challenges our country is facing now. This was followed by the keynote speech of Assistant Secretary of Health Dr. Ma. Rosario S. Vergeire. Dr. Vergeire said that the developments are inevitably leading to changes in the environment. The changes alert us that our future rely mainly on the decisions and actions that we undertake now and that the failure to address the current concerns related to environmental and occupational health would mean adverse affects for us and the generations to come.
Asec. Vergeire’s keynote speech was followed by a discussion of global and local environmental and occupational health concerns by experts from the World Health Organization-Western Pacific Regional Office and Country Office, University of the Minnesota, First Philippine Holdings Corporation, and the CPH’s Department of Environmental and Occupational Health. The inclusion of speakers from international agencies and organizations provided global perspectives on environmental and occupational health as well as opportunities that are available to address the most pressing concerns our country is facing today.
The topics discussed as well as the profile of speakers of the forum are shown in the Table below.
CLIMATE CHANGE: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH IN THE 21ST CENTURY Dr. Rokho Kim, Coordinator, Health and Environment, World Health Organization, Regional Office for the Western Pacific
CLIMATE CHANGE INDUCED DISASTERS, DISPLACEMENT, AND MENTAL HEALTH
Dr. Hyun Kim, Visiting Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila and Assistant Professor Division of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Minnesota
ONE HEALTH AND OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH
Dr. Bruce Alexander, Professor and Division Head, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Minnesota
Lunch at Market Café, 3rd Floor
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH EMERGENCY RESPONSE: SINGLE, MASS CASUALTY, AND DISASTER MEDICAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE STRATEGY OF FIRST PHILIPPINE HOLDINGS CORPORATION
Dr. Joselito L. Gapas, Adjunct Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila and Occupational and Environmental Health Executive, First Philippine Holdings Corporation
THE NOTIFICATION SYSTEM OF OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES AND INJURIES IN THE PHILIPPINES
Dr. Vivien Fe F. Fadrilan-Camacho, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila
CHALLENGES FOR OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH FROM GLOBALIZATION
Dr. Jorma Rantanen, Former President, International Commission on Occupational Health and Advisor, World Health Organization
NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH ACTION PLAN 2018-2022: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial, Adjunct Professor, Department of Health Policy and Administration, College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila
POTENTIAL SOURCES OF PARTICULATE MATTER 2.5 IN HOSPITAL INDOOR AIR
Asst. Prof. Rose Abigail D. Enoveso, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila
CHALLENGES ON WATER SUPPLY, SANITATION, AND HYGIENE SYSTEMS IN HEALTHCARE FACILITIES
Dr. Bonifacio B. Magtibay, Adjunct Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila and Technical Officer on Environmental and Occupational Health, World Health Organization – Manila
CARCINOGENIC HEALTH RISK OF ARSENIC IN FISH FROM LAGUNA DE BAY
Dr. Victorio B. Molina, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila
Briefing on WHO Initiatives to Address Non-communicable Diseases in Workplaces
The forum ended with closing remarks from Dr. Emerito Jose A. Faraon, the Assistant to the Dean for Academic Affairs, who represented Dean Romeo R. Quizon of the College of Public Health.