Having garnered a score of 94% based on DOH’s set criteria for sustaining a tobacco-free environment, Tacurong City was given the Red Orchid Award during the Mindanao Cluster Red Orchid Awarding Ceremony on June 26, General Santos City. This is the LGU’s first Red Orchid Award after implementing its smoke-free policy.

Mayor Lina O. Montilla, Vice Mayor Joseph George Lechonsito, Councilors Psyche Sucaldito and Ariel Ferdinand dela Cruz, and City Health Officer Giovanni Deles received the award from DOH officials led by Assistant Secretary for Health and Red Orchid Awards Chairperson Dr. Paulyn Jean Russel-Ubial.

Tacurong Red Orchid

“This award will serve as an inspiration and challenge for us to further strengthen our smoke-free policy. We are hoping that all Tacurongnons will unite and work for this advocacy,” said Mayor Lina O. Montilla.

Tacurong City was among the 90 agencies, LGUs, hospitals, and offices in the Mindanao Cluster that were evaluated by the DOH for the said award. An agency must achieve 90%-100% of the set criteria to qualify for the Red Orchid. Those that achieved 75-89% were awarded with Pink Orchid, while those that achieved a 65-75% score received the White Orchid award.

The Red Orchid Award winners are judged based on strength of comprehensive efforts to implement 100% tobacco-free environment using WHO’s MPOWER initiative. MPOWER is an acronym that denotes the six proven tobacco control policies, namely: Monitor tobacco control policies; Protect people from tobacco smoke; Offer help to quit tobacco use; Warn against the dangers of tobacco; Enforce bans on tobacco advertising; and Raise taxes on tobacco. (LGU Tacurong City Information)