RECOGNIZED. Officials of jails and hospitals in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), including Ministry of Health (MOH) officials, pose after receiving the Red Orchid Awards 2022 for their successful no-smoking program implementation in their respective workplaces. At least 11 regional offices and health facilities in the region received the coveted award for 2022. (Photo from MOH-BARMM)

COTABATO CITY – The Department of Health (DOH) national office and the Ministry of Health in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOH-BARMM) have recognized 11 government offices and hospitals in the region for effectively implementing the no-smoking policy in their premises last year.
MOH-BARMM information officer Saida Ali attributed the “Red Orchids Award 2022” to the MOH non-communicable diseases (NCD) cluster.

Dr. Ahsan Paudac, head of the MOH-BARMM NCD cluster, said the program aims to ensure a smoke-free environment and workplaces across the region and in other parts of the country.

“Congratulations to the awardees...we appreciate your efforts in maintaining a healthy surrounding in BARMM,” Paudac said in a statement Monday.

Ali said the recognized agencies and health facilities were given trophies and cash incentives of PHP25,000 for first-time awardees and PHP50,000 for the Hall of Famers.

First-time awardees were the Datu Odin Sinsuat District Hospital in Maguindanao del Norte province, and the 12th Forward Service Support Unit ASCOM, Philippine Army.

The Red Orchid Award Hall of Famers 2022 included the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology-BARMM; the Cotabato City Jail; the Upi and Parang municipal jails in Maguindanao del Norte; the Wao Municipal Jail and Malabang District Jail in Lanao del Sur;  Lamitan City Jail in Basilan; Jolo District Jail in Sulu; and the Bongao District Jail in Tawi-Tawi province.

In her acceptance speech, BJMP-BARMM Sr. Supt. Faridah Ali, a physician, said the government’s anti-smoking campaign is not only keeping civil servants and the people around hospitals and government offices safe but also their “respective families at home.”  

“This program makes us instruments to help save others from killer diseases due to smoking,” said Ali, also the BJMP-BARMM assistant regional director. (PNA)