For years, the Department of Health has been recognizing local government units whose initiatives and efforts to become a smoke-free municipality are intensified and are strongly committed with their smoke-free campaigns. This is through the prestigious RED ORCHID AWARDS.

Red Orchid Award was conceptualized to combat tobacco use and to work for a tobacco-free environment. Tobacco has been identified as the major contributor on cardio-vascular diseases, pulmonary diseases, diabetes and even cancer. This is why the Department of Health has been very supportive with local government units, government offices or government hospitals that are imposing strong commitment towards their campaigns to be 100% smoke-free, by recognizing them with their hard work and giving out awards such as the Red Orchid Award.

This year, the Municipality of Katipunan for the first time,has been chosen alongside six (6) other municipalities in the province of Zamboanga del Norte, namely: Salug, Manukan, Piñan, Sibutad, City of Dapitan and Labason – who also got the Hall of Fame Award for being Red Orchid Awardee for three (3) consecutive years.

The awarding took place at LM Metro Hotel, Zamboanga City last November 28, 2018 which was received by the Municipal Mayor Hon. Patchito T. Eguia together with the Officer in-charge at the Municipal Health Office, Ms. Virginia P. Trinidad.

“As the Local Chief Executive of the municipality, in behalf of the Katipuneros, it has been a great privilege to be chosen as one of the few recipients of this prestigious award, ” Hon. Eguia said.

“It was not easy to take on the challenge in making the municipality as smoke-free as it can be, because we all know that our country is a tobacco-growing nation and Katipunan has a huge number of smokers who have continued patronage to the products of the tobacco industry prior to the implementation of our Municipal Ordinance NO. 2017-03 or the “Comprehensive Anti-Smoking Ordinance in the Municipality of Katipunan” which took effect just by August last year,” he added.

Now that Katipunan was already recognized as a smoke-free municipality, the challenge will remain and would go further for this is just the beginning to make Katipunan a total smoke-free, violence-free and environment-friendly municipality.