Malaybalay hosts tobacco-free environment training

Malaybalay City in coordination with CHO is geared towards 100% Tobacco Free Environment through a training funded by WHO

It is a wonderful privilege for the City Health Office to be afforded with a budget to pursue the capability building and leadership training on tobacco control.

To capacitate the leaders of the City and Bukidnon Province on the strategies to implement the 100% Tobacco Free Environment,the training has been organized mainly on the basis of the knowledge and statistic revelations that tobacco as a major risk factor in lifestyle- related diseases and premature death.

Based on the objectives, it has to cover the concepts in tobacco Control and the global health treaty Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) and the relevant national and local tobacco control policies.

It aimed to tackle on MPOWER the basic 6 strategies of implementation extracted from an international law which is known as the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. This law has been ratified and adopted in the Philippines of which other laws in support to the tobacco control emanates or made as the basis.

It was taken up for the trainees to be acquainted with the MPOWER strategy and its implementation at the local level and related requirements for the DOH Red Orchid Awards System.

MPOWER is an acronym used to simplify the FCTC law strategies.

M stands for Monitor tobacco use, prevention policies and industry activities. 
P rotecting people from tobacco smoke
O ffering help to quit tobacco use
W arning about the dangers of tobacco
E nforcing bans on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship
R aising tobacco taxes

Attendees of the said training were the department heads of the City Government of Malaybalay in full force, representatives from the academe (BUKSU, BNHS, SIC & DepEd, Malaybalay City Division) youth organizations, media people, Municipal Health Officers and Sangguniang Bayan members of Dangcagan, Don Carlos, Damulog, Quezon, Baugon, Maramag, Impasug-ong and faith-based organization.

The first day was done with the introduction of the speakers from World Health Organization and Action for Smoking and Health Philippines or ASH Phil members.

Dr. Dennis P. Sangalang, the City Health Officer welcomed and acknowledged participants from the LGU-Malaybalay, other stakeholders, MHO”s and SB’s on Health of the seven municipalities who were eager to join this training.

Dr. Benas, the Non- Communicable Disease Cluster Head of the Department of Health Regional Office X presented the Burden of Diseases: Tobacco-Related Morbidity & Mortality gave the participants an idea for the significance of the implementation.

The FCTC & the EMPOWER Strategy Overview was discussed by Dr. Grace Buquiran the OIC Division Chief, Project Monitoring Division Bureau of International Health Cooperation of the Department of Health.

Rommel Arriola the project manager of ASH Phil and Dr. Florante Trinidad, the National Professional Officer of the Office of World Health Organization Representative of the Philippines spoke on MPOWER Concepts: Monitor and Enforce.

The second day was opened by a message from the Department of Health Regional Director Dr. Nimfa Biduya Torrizo herself who expounded the priority programs of the present administration health agenda capsulated in the acronym ACHIEVE with shout out “All for Health towards Health for all”.

Topics covered were the MPOWER Concepts: Protect, Warn, Offer, and Raise Taxes including the LGU Best Practice presented the Mayor of Talisayan himself Mayor Rommel Maslog.

Mayor Maslog shared their experiences in the first few years of the implementation in his place and the initiatives they did to cater to alternative farming offered to tobacco farmers.

Dr. Gay Ardanas, the Municipal Health Officer of Talisayan had her talk on Warn the People About the Harms of Tobacco. The training will not be done without the inclusion of 100% Smoke Free Bureaucracy: CSC MC 17-2009, Preventing Tobacco Industry (TI) Interference: CSC DOH JMC 01- 2010 and Protect People from Exposure to Tobacco was explained through Mr. Michael Roa, the Senior Human Resource Specialist, CSC RO. Ms. Divina Abordo of ASH Phil Project Manager also talked on Raise Tobacco Taxes/Prices.

On the last day of the training, City Mayor Ignacio W. Zubiri gave his message and affirmed his support to embark on this undertaking.

The FCTC Implementation in LGU’s through Local Ordinances and Oroquita City with the City Health Officer Dr. Clemente Almonte shared their testimonies and best practices, the template for the LGU FCTC inspired local ordinance was also given for the LGU representatives who were around.

The development of a communication plan on Tobacco Control was done for each of the LGU’s and other organizations and later in the day this communication plans were presented before the speakers per LGU and organization and Dr. Encarmnita Limpin ASH Phil Head and Heart Center of the Philippines Specialist facilitated this part of the training. Dr. Dennis P. Sangalang himself presented the communication plan crafted for Malaybalay City.

The training ended with impressions and experiences shared by Dr. Limpin, Dr. Grace Buquiran and the Focal Person – Tobacco Control for Bureau of Jail Management and Penology. It was a well-represented training according to the speakers and it has accounted to 66 attendees.

- Grace Lingcasan, CHO-NADA Coordinator

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