GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Having garnered a score of 102.8% based on DOH’s criteria for sustaining a tobacco-free environment, the Regional Planning and Development Office-ARMM bagged the DOH Red Orchid Award (ROA) at Greenleaf Hotel on June 26, 2014.
The DOH ROA is the annual search for the 100% Tobacco-Free Environment among health facilities, government agencies, and LGUs. Winners are judged based on their comprehensive efforts to implement a 100% Tobacco-Free Environment using the World Health Organization MPOWER initiative.
MPOWER is an acronym that denotes the six proven tobacco control policies, namely: 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.
The prestigious award was presented by Dr. Teogenes Baluma, Regional Director of DOH XII, and Dr. Ma. Encarnita Limpin, Executive Director of the Framework Convention Alliance on Tobacco Control Philippines (FCAP).
RPDO is fully supportive in promoting health in the region as expressed by the Regional Economic and Development Planning Board (REDPB) Resolution No. 2, series of 2014 signed by Regional Governor Hon. Mujiv S. Hataman as Chairman of the REDPB on March 17, 2014 enjoining the regional and provincial line agencies and LGUs to participate in the said search.
According to DOH, an increasing number of health facilities, government agencies, and LGUs are putting in more efforts in establishing measures to protect the public from the harmful effects of tobacco smoke and secondhand smoke.
This is the second time RPDO has received the esteemed award as the Office has received its first award on June 20, 2013 at Davao City. The Office aims for the honor of being a Hall of Fame Awardee, which is having three consecutive ROAs.
A number of other government institutions from ARMM were also recognized during the awarding ceremony including the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-ARMM), Department of Health (DOH-ARMM), the Local Government Unit of Taraka and Tamparan District Hospital from the province of Lanao del Sur.