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ALL IT TAKES IS...ONE CITY & ONE LOUD VOICE to begin creating a critical mass that will strongly take the fight forward...
THE "YES' to REDCOP, "NO" to SMOKING MOTORCADE-RALLY (motorcade which was followed with a rally)
JUNE 18, 2010
BAYAWAN CITY, NEGROS ORIENTAL, PHILIPPINES
(with City Plaza as the rally site)
“Be the first…” this was one piece of thought which propelled us to pursue a big health gathering in June of 2010.This was about a month after a national elections, about a month away from welcoming a new set of leaders and decision-makers for the city… And this was-again- June, when the nation celebrates National Kidney & the National No Smoking Month.
Being first is indeed crucial in terms of communicating important public health issues to new leaders… and not just to them alone but also to certain people with whom plans can be derived and actions can be taken.
On June 17 and 18, 2010, a back-to-back event was held: an 8-hour symposium was held on the 17th with the theme: “YES” to REDCOP, “NO” to Smoking: A Health & Wellness Priority Here & Now. Experts who imparted learning in this activity include the following:
Dr. Ma. Teresita Sy-Sinda (Dean, Graduate School, Silliman University College of Nursing, Dumaguete City,Negros Oriental Philippines) discussed “Why Primary Health Care? What’s In It for Me?” She also shared related and important topics such as the “Changes in Disease Pattern as Expressed by Disease Burden in Developing Countires.” Dr. Sinda also shared a WHO- (World Health Organization) 60th anniversary- heart touching and inspiring video (depicting a tribute to the health care workers of the world). Aside from her talk, Dr. Sinda also delivered a speech challenging the city about the call for the revitalization of Primary Health Care as a health strategy.
Dr. Fidencio G. Aurelia (Consultant, Healthy City promotions, Development & Wellness Program, Bayawan City, Negros Oriental, Philippines) discussed “Sustainable Work-Life Ecosystem Balance”. Dr. Aurelia also integrated in his talk the effects of smoking in one’s health.
Mr. Romulo Munsayac, Jr. (National Project Coordinator, DOH-Bloomberg Initiatives, Philippines) discussed “How Do I answer Questions & Opposing Remarks While Taking Part in Tobacco Use Control?”Mr. Munsayac also shared some laws, policies and mandates useful in taking part in the campaign against smoking.
Dr. Kenneth T. Coo (nephrologist, REDCOP Partner) discussed “How Does Tobacco Kill More Than Wars Do?” In this talk, Dr. Coo also shared various research study results that link tobacco use to kidney failure.
About 500 participants came to this symposium; these include, the city’s public health workers with their BHWs (Barangay Health Workers) and Family Health Workers, the newly elected city officials, barangay officials with the members of their “Healthy Barangay Technical Working Group”, school heads of both elementary & high school, church leaders, women’s organizations, and the youth.
This symposium was backed with the “YES” to REDCOP, “NO” to Smoking Motorcade-Rally by the following day, the 18th of June. If there are things which we call “freedom wall/freedom board”, this motorcade- rally which we had served as a “Freedom Site” where various leaders in our community started to demonstrate active and aggressive moves in the quest for optimum health.
The motorcade was conducted in two groups –east origin and west origin groups- that met and united as one big group at the public market area and converged at the city plaza for the rally. Poster-slogan contestants with their entries (pieces bearing intended anti-smoking messages) also joined these groups.
The rally channeled for strong and powerful messages both for kidney disease prevention and control which were given by the Provincial REDCOP Coordinator, Mrs. Judith Vailoces; and for smoking awareness and smoking cessation campaign by the National DOH-Bloomberg Initiatives (Philippines) Project Coordinator, Mr. Romulo Munsayac, Jr. who represented Dr. Ma. Soledad Antonio (the same program’s national project manager). Mr. Munsayac mainly told the public that they already have the laws and policies in place for them to actively take the anti-smoking advocacy further. He mentioned and briefly discussed these laws and policies namely: the RA 9211 (Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003), DOH Administrative Order No.2009-0010 (Rules & Regulations Promoting a 100% Smoke Free Environment), Civil Service Commission Memorandum Circular No. 17, s 2009 (Smoking Prohibition Based on 100% Smoke-Free Environment Policy), the LTFRB Memorandum Circular No. 2009-036 (LTFRB Issuance Requiring 100% Smoke- Free PUVs & Transportation Terminals) plus the freshly enacted Negros Oriental Smoke-Free Ordinance.
Reverend Pastor Bernie Maniego(Seventh-Day Adventist Representative and Healthy Lifestyle Program Partner) also amply rallied and reinforced the call to lead a Healthy Lifestyle, focusing largely on Smoking as one disastrous thing.
Other than the above speakers, the rally was attended and supported by the City Health officer II-Bayawan City, Dr. Jenny June B. Tigbao who did the opening remarks; the SP Chairman, Bayawan City Health Committee, Hon. Mark Fidencio L. Aurelia who gave his message; the Healthy City promotions Development & Wellness Program Consultant, Dr. fidencio G. Aurelia who also gave a message;
the City Administrator, Mr. Pancho F. Villasis who also spoke in behalf of the city mayor and also gave the closing remarks, the Faith-based community, the sports oriented groups: BTEX (Bayawan City Trail Explorers) and the Bayawan City Arnis Club; transportation groups with the operators, their officers and members; the barangay officials with the members of their “Healthy Barangay Technical Working Group”; the DEPED family; the Bayawan City Council of Fraternities and Sororities; the national government agencies, and the health workers with the BHWs (Barangay Health Workers) and Family Health Workers.
To all our partners and supporters: “What goes around comes around… thank you for choosing to be a channel of people’s health.” To DOH-Bloomberg Initiatives thanks for making it happen… for being our sponsor. God bless us all…