MOH-BARMM exec hopes more offices enact smoke-free workplaces

SMOKE-FREE WORKPLACES. BARMM Health Minister Dr. Bashary Latiph (3rd from left) poses with the awardees during the Ministry of Health Red Orchid Awards 2021 awarding ceremonies held in Cotabato City on Monday (Jan. 31, 2022). The award is given to local government units, government offices, hospitals, and jail facilities for implementing 100 percent tobacco-free workplaces and environments in the region. (Photo courtesy of MOH-BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – The health minister of the Autonomous Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) has expressed confidence more institutions will fully implement tobacco-free workplaces and environment programs this year.

This came about after the Ministry of Health (MOH) – BARMM has awarded Monday institutions and government offices in the region with “Red Orchid Awards” for effectively enforcing tobacco control measures in its facilities in 2021.

“BARMM institutions that fully implement the anti-tobacco program this year will be also be duly recognized,” said Dr. Bashary Latiph, BARMM’s health chief.

Upon BARMM’s creation in 2019, the Red Orchid Awards is the first for the region, with the MOH awarding local government units (LGUs), government offices, hospitals, and jail facilities for implementing 100 percent tobacco-free environments.

On Monday, Latiph extended awards to representatives of the Red Orchids during simple ceremonies here.

Recipients of the 2021 MOH Red Orchid Awards LGU category are the towns of Kapai and Calanogas in Lanao del Sur.

For the hospital category, the awardees include the Maguindanao Provincial Hospital, Buluan District Hospital, Wao District Hospital, Datu Blah Sinsuat District Hospital, Unayan District Hospital, South Upi Municipal Hospital, Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) Lanao, and IPHO Maguindanao.

For the jail facilities category, awards were given to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP-BARMM) Regional Office, Cotabato City Jail, Upi Municipal Jail, Parang District Jail, Wao Municipal Jail, Malabang District Jail, Lamitan City Jail, Jolo District Jail, and Bongao District Jail.

“Aside from trophies and certificates, the Hall of Fame awardees received PHP500,000 project grant to sustain their tobacco control activities,” Latiph said.

He added that for this year, LGUs proclaimed as Red Orchid awardees will receive an additional PHP100,000 worth of medicines that they can use for smoking cessation of non-communicable diseases.

“This program will hopefully encourage others to also implement 100 percent anti-smoking measures thereby keeping everyone safe from the ill effects of smoking,” he said.

The winners are chosen based on the strength of their comprehensive efforts to implement a 100 percent Tobacco-Free Environment following the World Health Organization’s “MPOWER” initiatives.

The acronym MPOWER stands for M: monitor tobacco use and prevention policies; P: protect people from tobacco smoke; O: offer help to quit tobacco smoking; W: warn about the dangers of tobacco; E: enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship; and R: raise taxes on tobacco.

The Red Orchid Awards started in 2010 when the Department of Health issued the comprehensive 100 percent Smoke-Free Environment Policy or Administrative Order No. 10. (PNA)

Source: Business Diary Philippines

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