Mayors and governors of different cities and municipalities of the Philippines and international delegates from member countries of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) are expected to approve and sign the Iloilo Declaration in working together to strengthen and sustain a smoke-free environment in the ASEAN Region.
To be signed and approved on May 21 in Iloilo City, the declaration will help build a network of smoke-free cities, municipalities and provinces collectively to be known as the Smoke-free Cities ASEAN Network (SCAN).
Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog will lead the signatories from the Philippine cities and provinces as well as delegates from Brunei Darussalam, Melaka, Malaysia, Singapore, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar in showing off a strong political will as essential element in enforcing smoke-free laws.
This southern city is host to the 3rd Smoke-free Cities ASEAN Regional Workshop and the Summit of Smoke-free Leaders and Champions in the ASEAN Region.
With the theme Building the alliance of smoke-free cities in the ASEA Region, the activity on May 19-22 is organized by the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance (SEATCA) in collaboration with WHO Western Pacific Region, Department of Health and the city of Iloilo.
Mabilog said the Declaration will show the commitment of all ASEAN members and the Philippines in the fight against smoking and hoping to achieve a tobacco-free region. The summit here is sharing lessons learned from the best practices of countries, cities and other smoke-free places in the ASEAN.
The anti-smoking commitment is gaining ground in several countries. Even Beijing, China, a non-member of the ASEAN, has passed a measure banning smoking in public places with implementation starting June 2015. (PNA)