Leyte's ICOT Caravan, an LGU service worth emulating
Tacloban City (October 9) -- The Inter-Community Operation Tambulig or ICOT Caravan for short, which is part of the province of Leyte's expanded health program to provide services for free to underprivileged members of the community, is winning accolades from government executives and the rural folk in every municipality where it renders services.
ICOT Caravan is not just any ordinary LGU service mission. It is an LGU practice worth emulating by the other local government units not only in the Region but all over the country.
What makes the ICOT Caravan of Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla distinct from other service missions, is that the most important part of the Caravan is the seminar on preventive medicine.
The good governor believes that the people must be taught on how they could prevent themselves from being sick. This will save them from unnecessary expenses and pains, he said.
This will also save the government a lot of money which is used in buying medicines for the disadvantaged people who are sick, he added.
It is amazing that at this modern time, many people in the hinterlands still believe that when someone has fever, he must be well covered. Many do not know that a sponge bath will help relieve the fever, the governor added.
This is what the province of Leyte through the Provincial Health Office, is trying to endeavor - to teach the people the basic first aid knowledge so that they will know what to do and so that no lives will be put to danger.
Governor Petilla informed that after the seminar, those who are sick get free medical attention and free medicines. This, the young Governor believes, is the real essence of empowering the people. The effect of the ICOT Caravan is indeed lasting.
Is this program not too expensive and too taxing to the members of the caravan? The Governor said that there are 9 district hospitals and 5 community hospitals in the province of Leyte. These entities are requested to serve once a month only, the Governor said.
ICOT Caravan was launched in the month of June 2007, in Tanauan, Leyte where more than a thousand residents from the 54 barangays of the municipality flocked at the Tanauan Gym to avail of the seminars and the services being offered.
Since then, ICOT Caravan has gone to the various municipalities, especially in the hinterlands, of the province of Leyte.
This latest innovative program during the second term of Governor Petilla, is part of his continuous thrust to give public service a flavorful relevance as it brings the government services directly to the people of Leyte, right there where the people are.
More than just a medical and dental mission, ICOT Caravan also includes the nutrition component and educating the people on preventive medicine. Moreso, free cosmetology services are also given like free haircut, manicure and pedicure.
What else will most please the constituents more than being pampered with basic services by the government right there at their doorsteps and being entertained by the winners of the ICOT Idol search. (PIA 8) [top]