Iloilo City hosts Smoke-free Summit for ASEAN leaders (Philippines News Agency)

Iloilo City hosts Smoke-free Summit for ASEAN leaders (Philippines News Agency)

This southern city will host the 3rd Smoke free Cities ASEAN Regional Workshop and the summit of smoke-free leaders and champions in the ASEAN region that will kick off Tuesday.

City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog said the five-day smoke-free summit will put Iloilo City in the world map as a capable host of international events, as an international tourism destination and staunch advocate of anti-smoking.

Iloilo City is a smoke-free highly urbanized city that hopes to develop a network to establish relations with other nations especially in the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN).

Some 300 delegates coming from Brunei Darussalam, Melaka Malaysia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar and the Philippines are expected to converge here and share updates and lessons learned from the best practices of countries, cities and other smoke-free settings and places in the ASEAN.

With a central theme Building the Alliance of Smoke-free Cities in the ASEAN Region, the international event is organized by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) in collaboration with the World Health Organization in the Western Pacific Region and the Department of Health of the Philippines.

Mabilog said the main objective is to build the network of smoke-free cities, municipalities and provinces collectively known as the Smoke-free Cities ASEAN Network (SCAN) as they work together in strengthening and sustaining a smoke-free environment in the ASEAN region.

To inspire the delegates with their topics for discussion are leaders and champions such as SEATCA Director Bungon Ritthiphakdee; Technical Director Kelvin Khow of Tobacco Free Initiative of WHO-WPRO; Norliza Abdul Halim of Ministry of Health Brunei; Head of Legal and Inspector Unit Dass Kandunyni of Melaka Health Department; an official of Singapore National Enforcement Agency; Vice Gov. Saysamone Khomthavong of Luang Prabang, Lao PDR; Health Director Datuk Ghzali Othman of Malacca, Malaysia; Dep.Gov. Bun Serey of Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Vice Gov. Narong Woonchiew of Krabi City, Thailand and Ministry of Health Dr. Nang Naing Naing Shein of Myanmar.

Also expected to attend are Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia of Balanga City, Bataan; Mayor Bentham dela Cruz of Amlan, Negros Oriental; Mayor Maloney Samaco of Maasin City, Southern Leyte; Mayor Angel Alan Celino of Roxas City, Capiz; Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City; Dr. Ivanhoe Escartin of DOH and Dr. Paulyn Roselle Ubial of DOH.

Director Inigo Garingalao of the Iloilo City Anti-Smoking Task Force will lead the delegates in the smoke-free study in a university, community, police station, government office and city hall, place of worship, and a smoke-free street in the city. (PNA)