THE Ministry of Health in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOH-Barmm), through its non-communicable disease (NCD) clusters, has accorded recognition on Thursday, February 2, 2023, to 11 government offices and hospitals that implemented a tobacco-free environment in Barmm.

The DOH named its anti-smoking advocacy award as "Red Orchid Award" to symbolize the fight against the ill effects of tobacco and to recognize the efforts of the local government units and different government agencies that promote a 100 percent smoke-free environment.

Dr. Ahsan Paudad, MOH-Barmm NCD Cluster head, said in a statement Friday, February 3, that the Red Orchid Award is one of the strategies to achieve a smoke-free environment among different administrative levels in the region.

“I would like to congratulate the awardees and thank you for your commitment to providing and maintaining a healthy environment [for the Bangsamoro],” Paudac said.

The Red Orchid awardees accepted certificates of recognition, trophies and cash incentives.

Hall of Fame awardees for 2022 received P50,000 each, while first-time awardees for 2021 received P25,000 each.

Paudac said that winners were judged based on strength of comprehensive efforts to implement a 100 percent smoke-free environment using the World Health Organization’s (WHO) MPower initiative.

The awardees included: Datu Odin Sinsuat District Hospital in Maguindanao del Norte and the 12th Forward Service Support Unit of the Army Support Command for Red Orchid First Timer Award (2021).

The other nine awardees, which received the Red Orchid Award Hall of Fame 2022, included the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology-Barmm, Cotabato City Jail, Upi Municipal Jail, and Parang District Jail both in Maguindanao del Norte, Wao Municipal Jail and Malabang District Jail in Lanao del Sur, Lamitan City Jail in Basilan, Jolo District Jail in Sulu, and Bongao District Jail in Tawi-Tawi. (SunStar Zamboanga)