The Department of Health (DOH) 11 targets to make Davao Region smoke-free in the next three years as they are currently conducting a series of validation to make all municipalities in the region a Red Orchid awardee.
The Red Orchid Award is a recognition given to cities, municipalities, government offices, and health facilities that are strictly following and enforcing laws and policies on smoking.
“What the LGUs are doing is to make their environment smoke-free especially those who have joined the search,” DOH 11 Tobacco Control and Prevention Program Manager Rosemarie Basañes said on Monday.
Basañes said there are already eight local government units in the region that are Red Orchid Award hall of famers, one of which is Davao City.
“This time, in Davao Oriental, there is already an ongoing regional validation for the award and Davao del Sur (will be validated) by June, and Davao Occidental is also by June,” Basañes said.
The DOH 11 will later work on all the municipalities in Compostela Valley and Davao del Norte to become orchid awardees.
Basañes said that making the entire Davao a smoke-free region will contribute to the national target of the Philippines towards a smoke-free country.
She said 80% of the 49 LGUs in the region have already an existing anti-smoking ordinance “but the problem is the enforcement.”
Davao City’s experience has become the benchmark for other LGUs to follow. Then mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte pushed for an anti-smoking ordinance, which was passed by the City Council in 2002.
A decade later, the City Council passed the New Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance, which updated some provisions of the original law.