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Thursday, 12 August 2021 20:14

WARNING: Strict anti-smoking measures enforced in Sarangani towns

ALABEL, Sarangani (August 12, 2021) – Malungon is Sarangani’s new hall of famer on Red Orchid Awards after the province’s capital town Alabel garnered the same distinction in 2019 for strictly enforcing tobacco control measures.

Red Orchid Awards is a search and evaluation system of the Department of Health (DOH) among government hospitals, offices, and local government units (LGUs) that implement a 100% tobacco-free environment based on the quality standards on tobacco prevention and control of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The rest of Sarangani’s five towns - Glan, Malapatan, Maasim, Kiamba, and Maitum - however, got their Red Orchid Award for the first time.

Jenelyn Ellie P. Ventura, development management office IV of Sarangani Provincial DOH Office (PDOHO), said the team composed of representatives from DOH central and regional offices, PDOHO, and from the Action on Smoking & Health, Philippines (ASH Philippines), a non-government and affiliate member organization of The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance, Philippines, conducted the validation from July 20 to August 6.

All the local government units in Sarangani are already enforcing the total ban of smoking in all public places, fixed or mobile, that are accessible or open to the public or places for collective use through their respective municipal police station.

Ventura said prior to the issuance of President Rodrigo Duterte of the Executive Order 26, these LGUs have already enforced their own ordinance on anti-smoking.

Next year, she said Sarangani is “hopefully the first province in the Philippines” to vie for the Red Orchid Award provincial category. Alabel and Malungon could qualify to a higher validation for hall of famer LGUs called Circle of Excellence which mechanics are still being crafted by the DOH central office.

According to Ventura the “Red Orchid award is a very good strategy. Inumpisahan ito long time ago at patuloy natin itong ginagawa because we want to live in a smoke-free healthy environment for our future lalong-lalo na para sa mga kabataan natin.” (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)

Photo taken by Martin Fernando E. Bernad Jr. at Alabel Public Market

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