Representatives from the Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Taskforce (ICAST) and the Public Health Office-Smoke Free Aklan give technical assistance to the DTI VI anti-smoking and vaping team in their pursuit of the Red Orchid Award on June 24, 2024, at the DTI Regional Office VI

ILOILO CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Region VI is vying for its first Red Orchid Award, a recognition given by the Department of Health (DOH) for implementing a 100% tobacco-free environment.

On June 24, 2024, the DTI VI’s anti-smoking and vaping team met with the representatives from the Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Taskforce (ICAST) and the Public Health Office-Smoke Free Aklan to receive technical assistance.

DTI VI Regional Director Rachel Nufable stated, “We hope to influence other offices in other provinces. We have implemented initial activities to prove that we are a smoke-free office as part of our health and wellness initiatives.”

The agency has banned smoking within office premises, adhering to Iloilo City Regulation Ordinance 2021-255, former President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order 26 and WHO’s 100% smoke-free environment policy.

Nufable added, “This initiative also aligns with our Quality Management System Support Process of providing a safe work environment.”

The Red Orchid Award is part of the DOH’s program to recognize government hospitals, offices, and local government units (LGUs) that meet WHO standards on tobacco prevention and control.

Criteria include implementing tobacco-free environments, monitoring tobacco use and prevention policies, protecting people from tobacco smoke, offering cessation support, warning about tobacco dangers, enforcing tobacco advertising bans and raising taxes on tobacco products.

The Pink Orchid and White Orchid awards are given to second and third place finishers, respectively.

The validation for the award is set on the last week of July or August 2024.

DTI VI has also been actively implementing Republic Act No. 11900 or the “Vaporized Nicotine and Non-Nicotine Products Regulation” Act.

The agency commits to upholding consumer safety and ensuring a well-regulated vape industry through continuous collaboration with stakeholders and comprehensive consumer education efforts.

DTI VI’s effort aligns with the broader national initiative to combat smoking and promote public health in government institutions.

The results of the validation are expected to be announced following the assessment later this year. ♦

Date of release: 25 June 2024