WORLD Health Organization (WHO) representative to the Philippines Dr. Gundo Weiler praised the City Government of Baguio, headed by Mayor Mauricio Domogan, for the passage of its Smoke-Free Baguio Ordinance (Ordinance 34, series of 2017).
The ordinance shows the city’s commitment in eradicating smoking, a deadly vice, which kills millions of people worldwide annually.
Weiler 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 smoking.
“The cost of smoking to the economy is also considerable in terms of workers’ productivity,” Weiler said.
Philippine Economic Zone Authority (Peza) Director General Charito Plaza also lauded local officials for the city’s comprehensive anti-smoking ordinance 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 on 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 on Monday, November 26 at Loakan spearheaded by the WHO and Department of Health (DOH) in partnership with the Peza-Baguio City Economic Zone (BCEZ) and City Government.
DOH Regional Director Amelita Pangilinan, Councilor Joel Alangsab, principal author of the Smoke Free Baguio ordinance, and Peza-BCEZ administrator Rene Joey Mipa also graced the event and delivered their messages to the crowd.
The campaign urges the private sector to commit to smoke-free workplaces and encourage their employees to quit smoking.
Prior to its launching 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 said.
Baguio was chosen as venue for the launching because the campaign’s objective is parallel to the City’s commitment to prioritize public health through a comprehensive anti-smoking measure.
Earlier, Domogan said government and other concerned sectors must act with urgency “to denormalize the culture of smoking and tobacco consumption not only in our economic zone but across the city so we can save the lives of our people.” (PR)