by Rohanisah N. Rashid
Cotabato City, Philippines – Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial, Area Cluster Assistant Secretary for Visayas and Dr. Enrique A. Tayag, Assistant Secretary for Support to Service Delivery Technical Cluster II of the Department of Health Central Office, conferred the prestigious 2013 DOH RED ORCHID Awards to the Regional Planning and Development Office-ARMM in the Zonal Awarding Ceremonies for Mindanao held on June 20, 2013 at SMX, SM Lanang, Davao City. The awards rite is the DOH Annual Search for 100% Tobacco-Free Provinces, Municipalities, Cities, Government Offices, Government Hospitals and DOH Center for Health Development.
The recognition was adjudged based on the comprehensive criteria to implement a 100% Tobacco-Free Environment anchored on standard parameters set by the World Health Organization (WHO) and pursuant to the Philippine Civil Service Commission’s Memorandum Circular No. 17, series of 2009 on Smoke-Free Environment Policy through the “MPOWER” tobacco control policies, which means: 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.
The RPDO is the first agency in the ARMM that received RED ORCHID Awards after the DOH-ARMM. The esteemed award was made possible because of the strong support and leadership of Executive Director Baintan Adil Ampatuan.
In her office policy issued, she declared the RPDO Building as a smoke-free zone, prohibiting smoking inside the building and within its 100-meter perimeter radius.
The recognition award will serve as an inspiration for the office to sustain the current gains and vie for the next Hall of Fame Award in 2015.
The RPDO being the Technical Secretariat of the Regional Economic and Development Planning Board (REDBP), which is the highest policy making body in ARMM shall push the adoption of Autonomous Regional Government (ARG) policies enjoining the Regional Line Agencies, Provincial Government and Local Government Units in the ARMM to implement a 100% Tobacco-Free Environment.