Tropical Leaves

Voices PH

Philippines • Planetary Health

Advancing Planetary Health for Climate Adaptation and

Pandemic Prevention in the Philippines

This Is Our Story

Planetary health is a new integrated vision for the future of health of both people and the planet. 


We now live in the Anthropocene epoch, in which human activities are the major drivers of global environmental change. In turn, these ecosystem alterations create new public health problems. 

Two contemporary challenges at the heart of the human health-environment nexus are climate change and pandemics.

 

Accelerating climate change leads to more typhoons, extreme heat, flooding, and sea level rise, which then generate a wide range of climate-related diseases such as mosquito-borne disease outbreaks, heat stroke, and hypertension due to intake of salinized water. Meanwhile, unabated encroachment into natural ecosystems through wildlife consumption and rapid urbanization increases the likelihood of a zoonotic leap – when a virus jumps from an animal to a human being, which is how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic originated.

The Philippines is at the heart of planetary health.

 

A tropical developing country in Southeast Asia, the Philippines is one of world’s most climate-vulnerable countries and is also a known infectious disease hotspot. The Filipino people are now beginning to experience the early health consequences of climate change; hence, there is an urgent need to build the capacity of health systems and local communities to effectively respond to these emerging health conditions. On the other hand, the lush Philippine environment is home to a rich biodiversity of microbes that can easily spread locally and even globally if community systems for habitat preservation and early outbreak detection are not put in place.

The planetary health story of the Filipino must be told.

 

Despite the looming health crises brought about by long-term climate change and future pandemics, Filipinos remain a resilient and innovative people. Initial efforts are already being undertaken by local governments, nongovernmental organizations, private sector, and youth groups across the country to adapt to climate change as well as reduce the likelihood of the next epidemic. There is a need to gather all these stories from the frontlines and to share them so that the next generation can learn and use the lessons to reshape their future anew.

Our First Step Towards Planetary Health Renewal

The Project

Voices PH is a flagship project of PH Lab – a newly-established “glo-cal think-and-do tank” for advancing the health of people and planet.

Partnership

This project will be implemented in partnership with the East-West Center in Hawaii, USA and other local and international organizations. 

Voice of the Filipino

Voices PH is about listening to the voices of the Filipino people as they confront the climate crisis and prevent the next pandemic. It is also about amplifying these voices so that they are heard by communities in the Philippines and elsewhere – to help advance planetary health awareness and action. 

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Strategy

Envisioned as a long-term project, Voices PH will have an initial phase with three major components – all happening in voices.ph website in tandem with other social media platforms. 

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The end goal: to make the Philippines the ‘silicon islands’ of planetary health innovation.

 

Reach us at info@phlab.org.

Future Dialogues

Creative Research

Educational Campaign

First is an educational campaign using films and blogs that capture today’s planetary health challenges and tell stories of community action. 

Second is a series of futures dialogues using online video meeting platforms to bridge scientists and communities and spark dynamic conversations about the future. 

Third is creative research using crowdsourced films and written narratives to document and analyze emerging planetary health impacts and adaptive responses by local communities.

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Let us shape a positive blueprint for the Philippines’ climate-smart and post-pandemic future.

 

The journey begins with

Voices PH. 

Team

Meet the people behind Voices PH.

One of the staunchest, most exciting, and most innovative voices for the new discipline of planetary health, Renzo Guinto, MD DrPH is Chief Planetary Doctor of PH Lab – a “glo-cal think-and-do tank” for advancing the health of both people and the planet. He is also Associate Professor of the Practice of Global Public Health and Inaugural Director of the Global Health Program of the St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine-William H. Quasha Memorial in the Philippines. Renzo is an East West Center Innovation Fellow, Obama Foundation Asia-Pacific Leader, Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow, and Climate Reality Leader (through the initiative of former US Vice President Al Gore). Currently he is member of the Editorial Advisory Board of The Lancet Planetary Health; co-convener of the Southeast Asian Planetary Health Alliance (SEAPHA); adviser to the Forum on Climate Change and Health of the World Innovation Summit for Health in Qatar; and Next Generation Adviser of the Lancet One Health Commission hosted by the University of Oslo. 

 

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Renzo is also one of the most energetic and provocative thought leaders for advancing health security in Southeast Asia and decolonizing the field of global health. He has served as consultant for various organizations including: World Health Organization; World Bank; USAID; International Organization for Migration; Health Care Without Harm; Philippine Department of Health; Chilean Ministry of Health; and Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium. Renzo obtained his Doctor of Public Health from Harvard University and Doctor of Medicine from the University of the Philippines Manila, and received further training from the University of Oxford, University of Copenhagen, University of the Western Cape, and East-West Center in Hawaii. Previously he was named an Emerging Voice in Global Health by Health Systems Global; Emerging Leader by the World Heart Federation; and Raffles Fellow by the National University of Singapore. Renzo has traveled to and lectured in nearly 50 countries; published more than 100 articles in scientific journals, books, and popular media; and directed and produced short films that communicate the message of planetary healing to the world.

 

Renzo Guinto

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Marianne Bongcac

Marianne K. Bongcac is a research assistant at PH Lab. Previously, she was a research intern under the KMCO of the Foundation for the Philippine Environment (FPE).

She is a graduate of BS Biology with Concentration in Environmental Science in 2019 from De La Salle University-Dasmarinas. She is affiliated with The Climate Reality Project Philippines, Planetary Health Philippines, and Rethink Plastic Organization, Inc. At university, she became president of the Lasallian Vigilance for Environmental Development (LS Verde).

 

She was also an exchange student for the Spring Semester (2019) at the Institut Polytechnique Unilasalle in the Water and Environmental Management Program. 

 

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Owen Atendido

Erwin Atendido is a freelance cinematographer and editor. He studied Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication major in Broadcasting at Bulacan State University.

 

He loves playing music and taking videos. He was trained to be a musician since he was a kid then became interested in using a camera when he reached 18.

Through the years, Owen gained practical skills, enthusiasm and experience that helps him be a relevant part of the growing industry of videography.

 

 

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Cheska Delos Reyes

Cheska Delos Reyes is a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication at Bulacan State University. She has been working as a content producer, researcher and coordinator for the past years.

 

She specialized in talking with or interviewing people, knowing their story, and sharing it for a wider audience.

 

Cheska is trained to be passionate and enthusiastic when it comes to talking with different kinds of people. She has the ability to truly understand what the person she is speaking to wants through exchange of information, feelings, and meaning.

 

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Anna Dominique Sasil

Anna Dominique Sasil is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Public Health from the University of the Philippines-Manila. She held leadership positions in several socio-civic university organizations. She has been actively involved in advocating public health awareness and science and technology for the people. She has volunteered for organizations such as the Philippine General Hospital and Philippine Red Cross. 

 
She also served as a research assistant for PH Lab. She is currently a Project Officer for the Department of Science and Technology. She has been involved in designing and copywriting for social media campaigns and conferences to promote the involvement of researchers in the programs of the agency. She has also been involved in the development of proposals for research and development programs of the agency that will ensure maximum economic and social benefit for the people.  

 

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Julius Nico Valdez

Julius Nico Valdez graduated from the University of the Philippines Manila with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Public Health in 2018. He also served as the president of UP One Earth for two years during his stay in the university. After graduating, he assisted in several public health projects and researches including PH Lab.

 

Nico is currently taking up his Doctor of Medicine - Master of Business Administration degree in the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health. He is also currently the Vice President for Skills Development of the institution's Public Health Council, and the National Deputy Chairperson of the Socio-civic and Public Health Committee of the Association of Philippine Medical Colleges - Student Network.

 

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Resources

The initial set of short films was produced as part of Renzo’s doctoral thesis funded by the Harvard Medical School Center for Global Health Delivery–Dubai in 2018-2019.