Issue of August 5, 2018
Mt. Province

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City gets $80,000 funding for env‘tal, smoke’free programs
by Hanna C. Lacsamana

The city’s campaign for compliant, environment-friendly, safe, healthy, and excellent service among its business establishments got a boost through a grant from a global scientific organization with the mission to improve public health.

The city government through the City Health Services Office has obtained an $80,000 grant from the Paris, France-based The Union or International Union for Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, which the city will use in the implementation of the city’s operational plan for a smoke-free city and promotion of excellent tourism through safe and environment-friendly services.

The Union is an influential network of 500 Union experts based in 12 offices and 17,000 members and subscribers in 156 countries around the world, with the mission to improve health among people living in poverty.

Dr. Donabel Tubera, CHSO medical officer IV and Epidemiology Department head, said they were informed that the grant was approved last week. The CHSO submitted the project proposal last year.

Tubera said the amount will cover activities laid out in the operational plan they have submitted to be implemented from Aug. 1 this year to July 31, 2019.

The plan involves the creation of a sub-city district task force that shall prepare the guidelines for the implementation of the smoke-free ordinance in the city’s 128 barangays.

This will serve to continue the initial accomplishments of the existing smoke-free task force which has covered establishments within the central business district and those operating near school premises during the ordinance’s first year of implementation.

Twenty-five percent of the budget will be allotted to information, education, and communication drive. Tubera said this will include coming up with campaign materials and programs in all media platforms.

Tubera said they will form a group of volunteer lawyers who will work in support of the enforcers and to assure that ordinance is properly implemented.

She said they will come up with a monitoring tool that shall contain a supervisory checklist that will define the rules to follow in implementing the ordinance.

Paplantsahin natin ang nilalaman ng ordinansa para mas mapaganda pa ang implementation,” Tubera said.

She added that they will also hire a staff that will focus on the project.

“We aim not only to zero in on smoking. It would be ironic to only check on establishment’s compliance to the smoking ordinance, but will not take action on clear violations of sanitation rules, food safety, and occupational health and safety standards. We aim to have absolute compliance to regulations,” Tubera said.

She said they also plan to form a technical working group that will come up with criteria in judging levels of excellence in terms of compliance to rules and in terms of services among business establishments.

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