June 17, 2024

The Regional Tobacco Control Network (RTCN) laid out its priority targets for 2023 to 2025 in line with its vision to achieve a 100 percent smoke-free environment in the Cordillera.

Smoke-free Benguet and Transcend, with the support of The Union and in collaboration with the Department of Health Cordillera initiated a strategic planning workshop for the RTCN.

Before the group came up with its proposed regional plan, Transcend Project Manager Cecille Agpawa gave a briefer on the DOH’s “Smoke and Vape Free Communities in the New Normal”, while DOH-Cordillera Medical Officer IV Shelly Aral discussed non-communicable diseases and the burden of smoking and vape to health.

The participants were also engaged in self-assessment and sharing of provincial and agency tobacco control activities and review and improvement of the vision and mission of the RTCN.

Dr. Madeleine Valera, the Union Philippines senior technical advisor, in her message, congratulated the organizers of the strategic planning workshop and the members of the RTCN as she outlined their important role in the achievement of smoke-free environment in Cordillera.

The RTCN is vital for the implementation of a comprehensive, dedicated, and systematic regional tobacco control and prevention program, as the prevention and control of tobacco and smoking-related diseases is the responsibility of all sectors. It takes a community and the whole country to ensure a smoke-free Philippines, Valera said.

The DOH-Cordillera through Administrative Order 2020-004 organized the RTCN composed of national government agencies, local government units, hospitals, and medical centers both private and public, civil society organizations, academic institutions and media practitioners.

The RTCN vision is geared towards a dynamic and empowered multi-sectoral organizations committed towards a 100 percent smoke-free environment in the Cordillera and supported by its mission to promote awareness, influence policy and behavioral changes and to provide technical assistance towards a smoke-free environment. – Carlito Dar