By Philippine News Agency
The Department of Health’s (DOH) office in the Mimaropa region on Thursday presented awards and incentives to local government units that have promoted best practices and initiatives to curb smoking, as well as sanitation practices.
DOH-Mimaropa regional director, Dr. Eduardo Janairo, led the awarding ceremony, held at the Luxent Hotel in Timog, Quezon City.
According to DOH Health Promotion and Communication Service (HPCS) director Dr. Mar Wynn Bello, winners of the Red Orchid Awards were selected based on the assessment and validation of their efforts to implement a 100 percent Tobacco-Free Environment in line with six tobacco-control policies of the World Health Organization (WHO).
These six tobacco control policies, dubbed as “MPOWER”, are M-monitor tobacco use; P-protect people from tobacco use; O-offer help to quit tobacco use; W-warn against the dangers of tobacco; E-enforce bans on tobacco advertising; and R-raise taxes on tobacco.
The winners were the municipalities of Alcantara and San Agustin in Romblon; and the PhilHealth provincial office, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital, and Southern Palawan Provincial Hospital, all in Palawan.
Alcantara municipality, Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital, and Southern Palawan Provincial Hospital were elevated to the Hall of Fame for winning the award thrice.
Meanwhile, the 2015 winners for the Barangay Best Sanitation Practices (BBSP) were Barangay Mainit in Boac, Marinduque (Category 1); and Barangay Masaguisi in Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro.
For 2016, the winners were Barangay Nunsora, Ferrol, Romblon which received a prize of PHP150,000; Barangay Agnocnoc, Ferrol, Romblon (PHP50,000); and Barangays Sagana and Ipil in Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro (PHP50,000 each).
Winners for BBSP were selected based on coverage household with sanitary toilets (25 percent); coverage of households with access to safety water (25 percent); improvement in sanitary toilet coverage (25 percent); approved budget for water and sanitation (10 percent); WASH practices in public establishments and schools (5 percent); and local sanitation initiatives (10 percent).
Janairo noted that in terms of achieving sanitation, the region still needs to do much.
There is a need to ensure that nearby provinces are also doing the same practices in improving sanitation as environmental wastes travel from one place to another, he said.
“But at least, you (awardees) will set examples,” he said.
Closing the ceremony, Dr. Rommel Lizan, unit head of Environmental and Occupational Health of MIMAROPA, urged the awardees to be models and inspirations to other LGUs.
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