Three ARMM line agencies conferred with Red Orchid Award

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (Bureau of Public Information)

COTABATO CITY – The Department of Health in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DoHARMM) conferred three regional line agencies with the Red Orchid Award.

These agencies are the Department of Education, Department of Science and Technology – a two time awardee, and the Regional Planning and Development Office – an awardee for three consecutive years and thus considered a hall of famer.

The Red Orchid Award is an annual search for 100% Tobacco-Free Environment in government offices, hospitals and local government units (LGUs). To qualify, the agency, hospital, or LGUs must first submit their self assessment forms to the regional DoH-Center for Health Development for screening and validation.

Upon checking, the DoH will provide technical assistance including orientation and environment checking. When nominated, the DoH national office will conduct validation and award the identified office based on the standards provided by the agency.

The DoH Red Orchid Award winners are judged based on the strength of comprehensive efforts to implement a 100% Tobacco-Free Environment using the World Health Organization MPOWER initiative.

MPOWER is an acronym that denotes the six proven tobacco control policies, namely: Monitor tobacco control policies; Protect people from tobacco smoke; Offer help to quit tobacco use; Warn against the dangers of tobacco; Enforce bans on tobacco advertising; and, Raise taxes on tobacco.

Awardees will receive trophies and certificates of recognition. For LGUs which attained hall-offamer status, or those awarded for three consecutive years, an additional P500,000 would be granted to be utilized for their antismoking programs and campaigns.

Also awarded in the ARMM were the LGUs of Taraka and Wao in Lanao del Sur and the Tamparan District Hospital also in the same province. The awarding was held on June 1 in Cotabato City.

Joery Delumpia Amad, assistant nurse coordinator of the Health department’s tobacco prevention and control program, said cigarette smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causes many diseases, and reduces the health of smokers in general.

She said smoking leads to cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and is the primary cause of lung cancer. Amad said the agency is targeting a 100% tobacco-free ARMM. She encouraged government offices to apply for the Red Orchid Award.

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