Western Visayas Regional Tobacco Control Network defines its Vision, Mission and Objectives to further tobacco control advocacy in the region

VISION: A dynamic and empowered multisectoral organization committed towards a 100% Smokefree Environments in Western Visayas.

MISSION: The Regional Tobacco Control Network - Western Visayas shall promote awareness, influence policy and behaviour changes in LGUs, businesses, government agencies, civil society organizations, and academe towards Smokefree Environments through active networking with the different stakeholders, sound fiscal management of its resources and good governance.

Aimed at strengthening partnership and camaraderie among RTCN members from government and non-government agencies and civil society groups, namely: the regional offices of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government; Western Visayas Sanitarium; Corazon Locsin Memorial Medical Center; Ramon Tabiana Memorial District Hospital; Provincial Health Offices of Negros Occidental and Capiz; local government units (LGUs) of Maasin, Cabatuan, Sta. Barbara, New Lucena, Anilao, and Iloilo City; the Seventh Day Adventist; Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines; and the Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Task Force (ICAST), team building activities were also included in the said workshop.

The DOH National Tobacco Coordinating Office lodged at the National Center for Health Promotion provided some technical inputs to further enhance the network’s capabilities as well as to align regional efforts with the National Tobacco Control Strategy (2011-2016).

Western Visayas is a big winner in the recently concluded DOH Red Orchid Awards 2013. This year, Iloilo City won its second Red Orchid award for the LGU category for implementing 100% tobacco-free environments. Other LGU Red Orchid awardees in the Province of Iloilo are the municipalities of Anilao, Dumangas, Sta. Barbara and New Lucena. On the other hand, Don Jose Monfort Memorial Extension Hospital in Barotac Nuevo also won the Red Orchid award for government hospital category, while PhilHealth Region 6 office and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology in Bago City, Negros Occidental got the Red Orchid award for government office category.

Considered as runners-up, the Pink Orchid awards were given to Ramon Tabiana District Hospital in Cabatuan, Iloilo, Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City, Civil Service Commission 6 regional office, and the LGUs of Maasin and Cabatuan, all in Iloilo.

Meanwhile, two government hospitals – the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital in Bacolod City and the Western Visayas Sanitarium in Sta. Barbara Iloilo, and LGUs of Roxas City, Capiz and Buenavista, Guimaras were already elevated to the Red Orchid Hall of Fame Award for strictly enforcing tobacco control measures for three consecutive years.