December 8, 2023

Baguio City has attained its third Red Orchid Award for its effective implementation of smoke-free programs.

With the feat, the city was elevated to the Hall of Fame of the prestigious incentives award program, the highest distinction given by the Department of Health to government organizations working to achieve a 100 percent smoke-free environment.

The DOH-CAR awarded the plaque of recognition to the city government through the City Health Services Office led by Acting Asst. City Health Officer Dr. Lourdes Pakoy during the Am-Among for Health Gawad Kalusugan program last Oct. 20.

The city achieved a score of 91.66 percent based on the quality standards on tobacco prevention and control set by the World Health Organization.

The Smoke-Free Baguio Task Force led by Mayor Benjamin Magalong expressed pride in the city being a “a beacon of excellence in implementing smoke-free programs recognized as a smoke-free city having one of the best and strongest anti-smoking ordinances in the country.”

The city received its first Red Orchid Award in 2018 and the second in 2022 where it garnered a score of 98.8 percent for its continued efforts of strictly implementing the Smoke-Free Baguio Ordinance through inspection, apprehension, and information and education campaigns.

The task force said the city has around 1,500 smoke-free enforcers coming from the city and community task forces. The apprehension activities are supplemented by massive information drives involving the different sectors.

The Smoke-Free Baguio Ordinance regulates tobacco products and ENDS or electronic nicotine delivery systems, and disallows smoking in public areas and indoor smoke areas. Penalties range from P1,000 to P,3000 for individuals and P2,000 to P5,000 for establishments.

The provisions of the ordinance can be found at – Aileen P. Refuerzo