Primary Care

ASMPH and Universal Health Care: The Rosita G. Leong Primary Healthcare Hub 

The Dr. Rosita G. Leong (RGL) Primary Health Care Hub  is part of ADMU’s Lux-In-Domino 2030, a strategic plan for the years 2021 - 2030. Through this, the university aims to be a collaborative and engaged leader in social transformation by way of education, formation, research, and community engagement. Rooted in its Filipino, Catholic, and Jesuit values, Ateneo will be tasked to be a force for good in seeking innovative and sustainable solutions to society’s most pressing challenges.

Aligned with Lux-in-Domino 2030, the RGL Hub will spearhead all university activities focused on improving the state of primary healthcare in the country, under the guidance of Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health (ASMPH). By becoming an adaptive trailblazer in developing solutions and innovations that support primary healthcare, the RGL Hub aims to make equitable health for all a reality for Filipinos. This will be done through empowering primary healthcare providers, allied medical professionals, and other stakeholders to help build a robust Primary Health Care system through a health-systems approach.

The RGL Hub was established based on a Memorandum of Agreement between the University, represented by then President Fr. Jose Ramon T. Villarin, and Dr. Rosita G. Leong signed last 8 August 2017.

RGL Hub Launch: Finding Kindred Spirits in support of UHC

Last June 18, 2022, the RGL hub was officially launched. The event was well attended by esteemed members of the Ateneo community, ASMPH faculty and alumni, as well as friends of Dr. Rosita G. Leong.

With the hub formally launched, ADMU hopes to broaden its efforts in educating more Filipinos about primary healthcare.

"The launch of this new University hub, at this time that we are emerging from a global health crisis, strengthens Ateneo's efforts in responding to the nation's health needs. It is also a reaffirmation of Ateneo de Manila's vow to be of service to its fellow Filipinos, especially in the country's quest for a healthier nation," Dayrit added.

With the launch of the RGL Hub and continued support for its initiatives, Ateneo hopes to broaden efforts in educating more Filipinos about primary healthcare.

For more information about the RGL Hub, please contact Dr. TJ Malvar (RGL Hub lead) at 09298044770,

"The Rosita Leong Hub for Primary Health Care is an incubator for future health leaders - the type who understands the strategic importance of primary health care and has the dedication, courage, and skills to pursue the mission of health care for all Filipinos."

DR. MANUEL DAYRIT in his address during the Rosita Leong Hub's Launch, Saysay 

Our Purpose


To make equitable health for all a reality in the Philippines


To be a trusted partner in developing sustainable and innovative solutions that strengthen primary health care in the country


To accelerate the achievement of equitable health for all by empowering primary health care providers and allied stakeholders using a health systems approach


To facilitate different avenues for learning and development to key stakeholders in primary health care (physicians, nurses/midwives, BHWs, LGUs)


To become an authority and go-to resource for primary health care in the country.


To lead the development and implementation of innovative and disruptive primary health care solutions 


To build and sustain a hardworking coalition of primary health care champions (individual and institutional) that will influence decision-makers and drive systemic change

Local Health Systems and the Mandanas-Garcia Ruling: An RGL Brown Bag Session with Hon. Hermilando I. Mandanas

On October 15, 2022, the Dr. Rosita G. Leong (RGL) Primary Healthcare Hub held their first brown bag session, which focused on the Local Health Systems and the Mandanas-Garcia ruling. RGL Hub’s brown bag sessions are an avenue for insightful discussion about relevant and complex primary health care topics.

During the session, attendees were able find out more about the spirit behind the Mandanas-Garcia ruling from Governor Mandanas himself. Apart from the RGL Hub advisory board and core team, the event was also attended by representatives from the Ateneo Professional Schools, the Quezon City and Antipolo City Health Departments, Ayala Health, and select faculty and alumni of the ASMPH. Atenean doctors currently deployed as DTTBs in various provinces across the Philippines also participated virtually.

Brown Bag Session 2: Achieving UHC in BARMM: Challenges and the Way Forward

As part of its mission to strengthen capability building among primary care physicians, the RGL Primary Healthcare Hub invited four Doctors to the Barrios (DTTB) who served in the Bangsamoro Administration Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to share their experiences at a brownbag session hosted on November 12, 2022. 

Dr Weena Bravo (ASMPH Batch 2018 and Municipal Health Officer of Maimbung, Sulu ), Dr Lorenzo de Guzman (Municipal Health Officer of Turtle Islands), Dr Paige Recasata (Municipal Health Officer of Lugus, Sulu) and Dr Paolo Chavez (Municipal Health Officer of Pangaturan, Sulu) were invited to discuss the realities as well as possible support that can be provided to BARMM. 

While serving as a doctor in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas can already be quite challenging, serving in BARMM presents an additional set of challenges. One such challenge is that some areas in BARMM are incredibly isolated and as such had no transportation facilities during certain times of the year. Many areas that they were assigned to were so isolated that they were the first municipal health officers to set foot in the municipality. Dr. Paige Recasata shared that the community members were deeply appreciative of their presence and made it a point not to make them feel like they were outsiders. 

The second set of challenges of health service delivery in BARMM is that health services in the area were not devolved. As such, the relationship between the DTTB and the local government unit (LGU) is not clear. Some of the LGUs do not even allot a budget for health. Compounded by the isolation of several areas, access to resources and networks proved to be difficult.

Since they were the only doctors in their areas, they found themselves on call all the time and had to multitask between clinic duties and municipal program duties. Dr. Paolo Chavez recalls experiences when he had to be pulled out of meetings at the municipal hall to attend to emergencies. Dr. de Guzman shared his experience of being woken up at 2 a.m. to perform surgery to take care of a fisherman who lost two fingers due to a boat accident while Dr. Recasata shared that she had to live a nomadic life because access to many barangays was so difficult so she had to stay in certain barangays for one or two days to provide services. 

They likewise recommended support mechanisms and strategies that may be helpful in providing for more efficient and effective health service delivery in BARMM. Dr Weena Bravo recommended that the academe, particularly the Ateneo, could connect DTTBs to NGOs who could help them with projects. This was particularly difficult in some areas in BARMM because there are relatively few NGOs there. Network building and support are key in these areas as most of the time, the municipal health officer needed to tap networks to provide for the care needed by their constituents. As an example, Dr. Jose Lumbaya Claver had to deal with a few scabies cases and immediately asked for medicines from his networks. By the time the medicines arrived one and a half months later, the number of cases had risen exponentially and the medicines delivered weren’t enough. 

Aside from material resources, the former DTTBs talked about the need to establish a support network for DTTBs who could be on call to provide guidance. When Dr. de Guzman was woken up to perform surgery on a fisherman who lost two fingers and had other complications, he had to call doctors in his personal network to ask for guidance on what he could do given his limited resources. It would have helped if DTTBs had access to a network of doctors who could provide guidance to situations DTTBs might face in the field. 

Dr. Chavez also suggested that there could be a repository of information for DTTBs which would be the equivalent of clinical practice guidelines in the field containing information on successfully implemented and sustainable solutions that other DTTBs had been able to put into place. 

All the DTTBs said that there is also a need to better prepare DTTBs for the experience, a sentiment echoed by Dr. Manuel Dayrit, Former Secretary of Health and Former Dean of the ASMPH, in his closing remarks given his own experience working in the provinces that now constitute BARMM when he was a young doctor. 

All these insights from the DTTBs provide critical leads for the RGL Primary Healthcare Hub which seeks to provide training for primary physicians who will be at the forefront of the implementation of the Universal Health Care Law.