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Aklan has four nominees for Red Orchid Award

KALIBO, Aklan --  The province of Aklan has four nominees for the much-coveted Red Orchid Award. Three of these nominees, if they qualify after being validated, will be elevated as Hall of Famers.
The Red Orchid Award is the Department of Health’s (DOH) Search for100% Tobacco-Free provinces, municipalities, cities, government offices, government hospitals and DOH Centers for Health Development.
For Aklan, nominees for the Red Orchid Award are the municipalities of Buruanga and Ibajay, together with the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH) and Philhealth-Aklan.
Of these nominees, the municipality of Buruanga, the DRSTMH and Philhealth-Aklan stand to be elevated as Hall of Famers if they get high ratings in the validation conducted by the DOH this month of March.
The Hall of Fame Award is given to entities that were able to consistently maintain the Red Orchid Award for three consecutive periods.
According to the Provincial Health Office (PHO) here, the nominees will be validated ffor 2015 and 2016, and if they both qualify for the two consecutive years, they stand to receive two trophies.
The awarding of the Red Orchid winners is usually held by the DOH at year-end.
To qualify for the awards, a municipality must have an existing ordinance against smoking and introduce innovations and good practices to discourage smoking in public places.
It must also have a smoking cessation clinic.
Because of the previous awards garnered by Buruanga and later Ibajay, other towns in Aklan have crafted their own anti-smoking ordinances so they could also join the contest.
The PHO said these towns include Kalibo, Tangalan, Malinao, and Makato while Nabas is on its first reading.
Numancia, Batan and Altavas are also interested in joining the search when they have already crafted their respective ordinances.
The province of Aklan, according to the PHO, is also aiming to be a Red Orchid awardee in 2020.
This could be possible, according to PHO officials, if its Provincial Hospital (DRSTMH), PHO (which holds office at the DRSTMH), and the Provincial Capitol Building is totally smoke-free.  (JCM/ PIA6 Aklan)

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