Iloilo City will receive its second Red Orchid Award in Manila on June 13 after it was recognized by the Department of Health (DOH) for having the “Best Anti-Smoking Initiatives” among local government units all over the country.
“The recognition is another manifestation that the city’s anti-smoking campaign and advocacies are truly working effectively,” Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog said.
The city will receive a P100,000 worth of drugs and medicines for non-communicable diseases. The second win will make the city vie next for the Hall of Fame Award wherein a P500,000 grant to be used for tobacco control projects is at stake for winning LGUs.
The city was adjudged based on the strength of comprehensive efforts to implement a 100-percent Tobacco-Free Environment anchored on standards set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The City Hall was declared a smoke-free zone prohibiting smoking inside the building and within its 100-meter perimeter radius. The City Health Office also established a smoking cessation clinic at the second floor and will replicate the same in district and barangay health centers.
An active public-private partnership is also being practiced wherein the business community, academe, and non-government organizations are strongly supporting and helping anti-smoking advocacies from information and education dissemination to apprehension of violators of city’s anti-smoking ordinance.
The mayor also credited the Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Task Force (ICAST) headed by Councilor Joshua Alim and ICAST director Inigo Garingalao for the intensified anti-smoking campaign in public places and conveyances.
The Red Orchids Award prescribes WHO’s MPOWER initiative which stands for: Monitor tobacco control policies; Protect people from tobacco smoke; Offer help to quit tobacco use; Warn against the dangers of tobacco; Enforce bans on tobacco advertising; and Raise taxes on tobacco.
It follows WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Article 8 which recommends adoption of measures to provide protection from exposure to smoke in indoor workplaces, public transport, indoor places and other public places as well as Republic Act 9211 or the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 that provides protection from exposure to tobacco smoke (Healthful Environment).