Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Human Resource Management and Development Service (HRMDS) Director Leonardo C. Reynoso (third from left), together with Ms. Maria Andrea B. Banay, OIC-Division Chief of the Human Resource Welfare Division of HRMDS (4th from left), is proud to receive the Red Orchid Award which manifests the Department’s firm commitment to fighting tobacco use. Also in photo are officials of the Department of Health (DOH), the lead agency for the Red Orchid Award.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) received the Red Orchid Award from the Department of Health (DOH) for implementing a tobacco-free environment and following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) MPOWER Framework, a package of six tobacco control measures which helps reduce the demand for tobacco products at country-level.

The acronym MPOWER stands for Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies; Protect people from tobacco smoke; Offer help to quit tobacco use; Warn about the dangers of tobacco; Enforce bans on tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship; and Raise taxes on tobacco.

DSWD Human Resource Management and Development Service (HRMDS) Director Leonardo C. Reynoso received the award, together with Ms. Maria Andrea B. Banay, OIC-Division Chief of the Human Resource Welfare Division of HRMDS, during the Red Orchid Awarding Ceremony held on October 10, 2019 in the City of Manila.

The Red Orchid Award or the Search for 100% Tobacco-Free Environment is an incentive program of the DOH which calls for the absolute smoking ban in government offices and hospitals, and encourages local government units (LGUs) to do the same in their health facilities and other public places.

The Award, which began in 2009, recognizes government offices, hospitals, and LGUs in different administrative levels who are judged based on the strength of their comprehensive efforts against tobacco use.

The Department garnered a total score of 91-100% based on the DOH’s criteria for implementing a 100% tobacco-free environment and for following the MPOWER Framework.

As the lead agency in social protection, DSWD recognizes the importance of protecting clients and personnel from the harm of tobacco use and the threat of tobacco industry interference. The Department strongly supports all policies of the national government on tobacco control and has issued guidelines on the adoption and implementation of policies on tobacco control and protection against tobacco industry interference.

DSWD Administrative Order (AO) No. 7, series of 2018, adopts the Policy on the Protection of the Bureaucracy against Tobacco Industry Interference supplementing the Department’s Code of conduct for personnel.

Furthermore, DSWD AO 11, series of 2019 institutionalizes the mechanisms for the effective implementation of tobacco control and protection measures for good governance in the Department.

The Department has also issued guidelines on the adoption of information, education, and communication materials to be placed in DSWD Central Office, Field Offices, attached agencies, centers and residential care facilities, and motor vehicles in support of the “No Deal with the Tobacco Industry” and “No Smoking” campaigns of the government.

These ensure strict implementation and enforcement of policies; raise awareness among DSWD personnel, clients, and partners on the adverse effects of cigarette smoking on health and productivity as well as the tobacco industry interference; and adopt an integrated strategy to promote and implement a smoke-free environment and tobacco control policy. – 30 –