Starting the Talk
His road to excellence started in December 2011 when he made the rounds online as he puts on his dancing shoes and let his moves do the talking in a bid to promote the anti-firecrackers campaign of the Department of Health (DOH). As it served its purpose, he then becomes popular for his dance moves and was called as the “dancing doctor” while he continued doing the same antics through the years. In fact, the DOH has launched “PilipinasGo4Health” program – a nationwide healthy lifestyle movement – because of his dance antics that was noticed around the world.
But aside from the dance moves, Dr. Enrique Tayag is a former spokesman of the country’s health department and is currently the Director of the Knowledge Management and Information Technology Service.
Roots of Passion
Before he was appointed at the DOH, Tayag is a former Chief Epidemiologist of San Lazaro Hospital from 1992-1998 and headed the National Epidemiology Center (now Epidemiology Bureau) from 2005 to 2015. His works in the epidemiology bureau has exposed him to various infectious diseases: dengue fever, polio, schistosomiasis, malaria and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
Tayag has been actively involved in making policies and guidelines; setting standards for disease surveillance; and in advocating for disease prevention and control, among others. The dancing doctor has introduced the national Integrated HIV Behavioral and Serological Surveillance (IHBSS) in 2007 as a source of information for planning, developing strategies and interventions to address HIV problem. Aside from the IHBSS, the monthly HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines (HARP) was also created in the same year through Tayag’s initiative.
In Kamagayan, Cebu City, Tayag was the principal investigator for a “harm reduction program” of the DOH and the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) where he presented the agencies position through operations research. The DOH and DDB’s study aims to find an intervention for people who are dependent to all forms of drugs specifically in Kamagayan, which would be replicated in other parts of the Philippines. It was launched in 2014, but was immediately concluded due to some alleged political interventions from both the local and national lawmakers who criticized Tayag for it.
Despite the criticisms hurled at him, the dancing doctor remained calm and took negative feedback as a motivation to continue doing what he loves, which is to guide the frontline workers.
The Love Gala organization is getting ready to hand out this year’s batch of Ripple Awards in time for the World AIDS Day. If you or someone you know has done a significant act for HIV/AIDS advocacy, now’s the chance to recognize them. Visit www.lovegala.org/nominate-now/ and nominate someone today!