Mayor Evelyn Uy Pushes For Smoke-Free Philippines
To prepare a Smoke-Free Declaration for the Philippines, Dipolog City Mayor Evelyn T. Uy raised a motion at the LCP (League of Cities of the Philippines) National Executive Board (LCP-NEB), encouraging all cities to be champions in the protection of Filipinos from exposure to tobacco smoke by passing a 100% smoke-free ordinance and aiming for the Department of Health’s Red Orchid Hall of Fame Award.
Seconded en masse by the LCP NEB during their 54th NEB Meeting last year, the move of Mayor Uy came about following a data from the National Nutrition and Health Survey that smoking is considered the chief cause of stroke, heart attack, and other diseases such as cancer and lung diseases, resulting to 50,000 deaths per year. Furthermore, Mayor Uy is also a staunched advocate in the promotion of the health and safety of the local residents that paved the way for the adoption of its vision of becoming the Center for Outdoor Sports of the South by 2020.
According to Mayor Uy, it has become an alarming trend worldwide that deaths on non-communicable disease are increasing with 300,000 deaths registered annually in the Philippines. In fact, the Department of Health (DOH) is recognizing the intervention of local government units in combating lifestyle diseases caused by smoking through the adoption of anti-smoking ordinances, implementation of total smoking ban in cities, municipalities and provinces, and the conferment of the DOH Red Orchid Award. Furthermore, Uy added that there is an opportunity for the League to facilitate the exchange of knowledge between ROA Hall of Fame Cities and other member-cities on implementing a total smoking ban in their respective communities.
Recently, 9 Mayors of cities and municipalities, who were conferred Hall of Famers of the Department of Health’s Red Orchid Award (DOH-ROA), together with some city tobacco control coordinators, attended the SEATCA (Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance) regional meeting to work on the advancement of tobacco control in the countries of the ASEAN last February 19, this year, to organize a smoke-free network or alliance of Mayors, expanding the network to more cities and municipalities in the Philippines and planned to conduct the 3rd Regional Smoke-free ASEAN Workshop, with the 9 City Mayors of the Philippines, to serve as models for the program.
Currently, the nine cities that have been declared as Hall of Fame Awardees for winning the DOH-ROA for three (3) consecutive years include Davao City, Dipolog City, Legazpi City, Maasin City, Balanga City, Roxas City, Iloilo City, Marikina City and Santiago City. (CIO-prr)