Issue of December 2, 2018
     
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WHO praises Baguio LGU for smoke-free initiative
by Gaby B. Keith / PIO

World Health Organization representative to the Philippines Dr. Gundo Weiler praised the city government for its smoke-free ordinance.

Weiler said this shows the city’s commitment in eradicating a deadly vice that kills millions of people worldwide annually.

He said tobacco smoking does not only adversely affect the health of smokers themselves but even innocent bystanders like their family, workmates, and friends due to second hand smoke.  The cost of smoking to the economy is also considerable in terms of workers’ producti-vity, Weiler said. 

Philippine Economic Zone Authority Director General Charito Plaza also lauded local officials and is hoping that this will be replicated by other local government units. 

“As part of its best practices, PEZA will require all other economic zones nationwide to follow the example, as this is a living testimony to how we can show concern for the health and welfare of our employees, their families, and the entire nation,” she added.

They were the guests of honor during the Smoke Free Revolution campaign Monday at Loakan spearheaded by the WHO and Department of Health in partnership with the PEZA-Baguio City Economic Zone (BCEZ) and city government. Also giving messages were DOH OIC Regional Director Amelita Pangilinan, Councilor Joel Alangsab, principal author of the ordinance and PEZA-BCEZ Administrator Rene Joey Mipa.

The campaign urges the private sector to commit to smoke-free workplaces and encourage their employees to quit smoking. Prior to its launch in Baguio, the campaign has been rolled out in various cities across Asia.

“Revolution Smoke Free envisions a future where all types of workplaces from different industries are free from tobacco smoke. Business leaders are at the forefront of progress and innovation. As drivers of change in their industries, they have the power to spur a movement towards a future with healthier and safer working environments.” Weiler explained.

Baguio was chosen as venue for the launching because of the alignment of the campaign’s objective to the city’s commitment to prioritize public health through a comprehensive anti-smoking measure.

Earlier, Mayor Mauricio Domogan said that government and other concerned sectors must act with urgency to “denormalize” the culture of smoking and tobacco consumption not only at economic zones across the city so we can save the lives of our people.”


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