1.12.2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

DOH-Caraga opens search for 100% tobacco-free environment

By Nora C. Lanuza Molde

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 12 (PIA) – To recognize the efforts of the different institutions and agencies in Caraga region, the Department of Health (DOH) is now accepting nominations for this year’s Red Orchid Award, an annual Search for 100 percent Tobacco-free Environment.

According to regional director Dr. Jose R. Llacuna, Jr., the search which is now on its 7th year will highlight the achievements in tobacco control in the different categories, to include the local government units (province, chartered cities, and municipalities), government hospitals, government offices, and DOH Center for Health Development and DOH hospitals.

Entries will be judged based on the strength of comprehensive efforts to implement a 100 percent tobacco-free environment using the World Health Organization MPOWER initiative, Llacuna said.

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.

The deadline for the submission of self-assessment and nomination forms will be on February 15, 2017 and the screening and validation together with partners is scheduled starting February 20 to March 24, Llacuna said. The finalization of entries for submission to central office Awards Committee will be on April 7, he added.

The Red Orchid Awards is the Search for 100 percent Tobacco-free provinces, municipalities, cities, government offices, government hospitals and DOH regional offices nationwide. It was used by the World Health Organization in its 2001 World No Tobacco Day advocacy as a symbol of a tobacco-free world and to remind people that campaign to end the tobacco epidemic is far from over.

From 2012-2015, 45 cities and municipalities were already declared as Hall of Fame Awardees for winning the Red Orchid Awards for three consecutive years.

For more information and confirmation, you may contact Ms. Sunshine A. Alipayo or Ms. Romelyn Torralba at telephone numbers (085) 342-5208 local 104 or 0918 916861/0930 9396035. (NCLM/PIA-Caraga)


TD Auring inflicts P60M irrigation projects damage in SurSur

By Nida Grace P. Barcena

TANDAG CITY, Surigao del Sur, Jan. 12 (PIA) – The Surigao del Sur Irrigation Management Office bared that around P60M worth of damage on irrigation projects was noted due to floods brought about by the tropical depression Auring over the weekend, here.

Based on the assessment report received from the National Irrigation Administration-Surigao del Sur Irrigation Management Office headed by Engr. Ferdinand Amon, some of their facilities and infrastructures were reportedly damaged and some were washed out due to flooding.

A total of 5,177 farmers were affected from the cities of Bislig and Tandag and municipalities of Madrid, Cantilan, Tago, San Miguel, San Agustin, Lanuza, Marihatag, Cagwait, Lianga, Barobo, Hinatuan and Lingig.

Accordingly, the assessment revealed that the infrastructures that were reportedly damaged include Sta Felomina Dam in Tandag City, Hubo Dam in San Agustin, irrigation projects in San Miguel town and other communal irrigation system (CIS) and national irrigation system (NIS).

It can be recalled that during that time the province of Surigao del Sur was on a storm signal number 1 it and was forecasted that TD Auring will make landfall to Surigao del Sur but had later shifted to the other area. (PIA-Surigao del Sur)


Solon seeks to institutionalize ban on tobacco advertisement

BUTUAN CITY, Jan. 12 (PIA) - Agusan del Norte First District Representative Lawrence “Law” Fortun filed House Bill 4713, seeking to institutionalize a comprehensive ban on all forms of tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorships (TAPS) in the country.

The said bill seeks to prohibit the placing, posting, or displaying tobacco advertisements and promotion items including tobacco products in any place including point of sale sites except for the placement of a simple sign informing consumers of the availability of the tobacco products therein.

In his explanatory note, Fortun emphasized the enormous toll of death, disease and disability caused by tobacco addiction as a global epidemic. Citing reports by the World Health Organization (WHO), the solon emphasized that battling this epidemic “should be an urgent concern especially in the developing countries, where 80 percent of the world’s smokers come from. In the Philippines, an estimated 87,600 Filipinos die every year due to tobacco-related illness, or 240 Filipinos daily.”

In 2003, the Philippines signed and ratified the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), the world’s first public health treaty which aims to address the global tobacco epidemic and provide protection to the world’s population against the health hazards of tobacco use. Article 13.1 of the FCTC contains an explicit recognition that “a comprehensive ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship would reduce the consumption of tobacco products.”

By imposing a comprehensive ban on TAPS, the legislative measure targets to reduce the tobacco addiction in the country. “TAPS activities project an image of success fun and glamour to tobacco products that lure new users, especially the youth, into a lifetime of addiction. These deceive consumers into believing that tobacco is an ordinary consumer product, and not one that kills half of its regular uses when used exactly as the manufacturer intended,” Fortun explained.


While certain measures exist, the solon admits that tobacco addiction has remained prevalent mainly because of poor implementation of tobacco control policies and inconsistent enforcement. “Driven by its commercial interest, the tobacco industry has actively promoted both, and has since been correctly identified as the primary vector of this epidemic”, said Fortun citing an international study. He also added that there is the issue of enforcement, particularly on certain restrictions on TAPS that are conditioned on age, or distance from school public playground or other facility frequented by minors.” (Media Affairs, First District of Agusan del Norte - Butuan City and Las Nieves)