PALO, Leyte – The Department of Health (DOH) in the region presented awards to local government units and government agencies that strictly implements the no-smoking policy.
For this year’s Red Orchid Award, 22 government offices, three hospitals, and seven local government units were given the recognition by the DOH for their strict implementation of the 100-percent tobacco-free environment.
“This serves as an inspiration and reminder to all to continue working for the betterment for the community members,” DOH Regional Director Minerva Molon said in her message during the awarding ceremony held Friday (December 7).
Among the awardees for government offices were the local health insurance offices of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. in the cities of Tacloban, Ormoc, Maasin, Borongan, Calbayog and Catbalogan and the municipality of Naval; Bureau of Jail Management and Penology 8 and the district jails in Naval, Catarman, Burauen, San Juan, Carigara; city jails in Baybay City, Borongan City, Ormoc City (female and male dorm) and the municipal jails in Palo and Palompon.
For the government hospitals, Red Orchid Awardees were the Allen District Hospital in Allen town; Northern Samar Provincial Hospital; and the Tacloban City Hospital.
For the LGU category, awardees were the towns of Silago, Limasawa, San Francisco and Padre Burgos in Southern Leyte; San Antonio in Northern Samar; Arteche in Eastern Samar and the city of Ormoc.
PhilHealth Regional Office 8 and the regional office of the Civil Service Commission bagged the Hall of Fame award for government offices.
Arteche town Mayor Roland Boie Evardone was proud of their achievement given by the DOH to their town, the only municipality in the region to receive the Red Orchid Award.
“The campaign became successful because of the support of the people and I am very much thankful, proud and happy for the people of Arteche because we are able to sustain the anti-smoking ordinance,” the town mayor said.
The municipal council of Arteche enacted the ordinance banning the selling and distribution of cigarette in the town in March 6, 2017.
“Technically, smoking in the entire town of Arteche is ban because we don’t have smoking areas and we prohibit selling. If there are people who are into smoking they must do it inside the premises of their house,” Mayor Evardone added.
The DOH Red Orchid Award is an annual search for the 100 percent tobacco-free environment, given to those who positively respond by creating policies and implement to achieve the 100 percent smoke-free environment.
Tobacco use has been recognized as the major contributor in cardio-vascular diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes and Cancer.
Red Orchid is the highest award given in this particular search followed by the second highest award, the Pink Orchid, and the third the White Orchid.
For the Pink Orchid, which is given to LGUs who are able to achieve less than 90 percent of tobacco-free environment, the award was given to the Northern Samar provincial capitol. (ROEL T. AMAZONA)