The Department of Health (DOH) has recently conferred the Red Orchid award to the municipal government of Tantangan for its successful implementation of the anti-smoking drive.


The municipality, a first-timer regional nominee won the award based on its massive and serious implementation of no smoking campaign to protect the health of its constituents through an ordinance.


Included in the award were certificate, trophy and a Php100,000 “worth of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) patches/medicines to aid smokers to quit.”


Dr. Abdullah Dumama Jr., regional director, DOH-Center for Health Development (CHD) 12, said “this is also the time when we recognize the efforts of all the people who worked hard in disseminating the anti-smoking campaign and made their workplace a smoke-free environment.”


Dumama urged the public to “speak up to let smokers around you know that you mind, and tell them that there is a smoke-free policy.”


In 2009, DOH started the Search for the DOH Red Orchid Award with two categories: DOH – Central Offices and Bureaus, Centers for Health Development, Hospitals, and attached agencies; and Local Government Units (LGU) – City and Municipality.


Awardees were chosen based on their holistic efforts to implement a 100% smoke-free environment following the World Health Organization’s “MPOWER” strategy.


MPOWER is an acronym that denotes six proven tobacco control strategies, namely: M-monitor tobacco use and prevention policies; P-protect people from tobacco smoke; O-offer help to quit tobacco use; W-warn about dangers of tobacco; E-enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and R-raise taxes on tobacco (this initiative shall be waived for the DOH offices and hospital categories).


Nominees for the award were evaluated by the National Validation Team composed of members from DOH-National Center for Health Promotion (NCHP) and National Center for Disease Prevention and Control (NCDPC), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines (FCAP).


The DOH-CHD12 together with Cotabato Regional and Medical Center and the municipal government of Alamada, Cotabato province were also tagged as other winners bagging for the second time around the Pink Orchid award category.


The awarding ceremony was held at the Crown Plaza Galleria in Manila in celebration of the World No Tobacco Day. (PIA General Santos City/DOH-CHD 12)

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