City cops Regional Red Orchid Award, eyes National Award next

BAGUIO CITY – After eight years of vying for the prestigious distinction, the Summer Capital has finally garnered the Department of Health's (DOH) 2017 Red Orchid Award in the Regional Level for the strict implementation of its anti-smoking program that has netted more than two thousand violators since January this year.

City health officer Rowena Galpo, action officer of the Smoke Free Task Force chaired by Mayor Mauricio Domogan, said the passage of the Smoke-Free Baguio Ordinance (Ord. No. 34, series of 2017) last year was the impetus of the city's finally garnering the award.

With this positive development, Galpo is very hopeful and keeping her fingers crossed that the city will finally garner the Red Orchid Award in the National Level as the city is going full throttle in strictly enforcing the measure authored by councilor Joel Alangsab.

She revealed that a validation team from the DOH and representatives from a nationally-recognized clean-air non-government organization met earlier with the task force. At present, local officials are still waiting for word on whether Baguio deserves to be conferred the prestigious award.

Galpo said the city has already copped two Pink Orchid Awards, a step below the Red Orchid Award, in the past years for its anti-smoking efforts.

The Red Orchid Award is the DOH's highest distinction in its search among government hospitals, offices and local government units that implement a 100-percent tobacco-free environment and that meet quality standards on tobacco prevention and control set by the World Health Organization.-gaby keith

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