MMDA gets P9.5-M grant for anti-smoking program

April 4, 2010 11:57 am 

MANILA, April 4 — New York-based Bloomberg philanthropies have approved a P9.5 million grant to the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for its anti- tobacco use campaign, which is aimed at turning the metropolis smoke-free by 2012.

According to MMDA General Manager Robert Nacianceno, the International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases, or simply referred to as The Union, has signed a two-year agreement with the agency for the enforcement of a “100 percent smoke-free environment policy in Metro Manila.”

The program is set to begin on July 1, 2010 and will run through June 20, 2012.

“In order to set a good example, the anti-tobacco drive will be spearheaded by the MMDA by implementing a no-smoking policy within and around the MMDA compound. Employees violating this policy will be apprehended and charged,” Nacianceno said.

The agency, which has “turned green” in more ways than one under the leadership of its Chairman, Oscar Inocentes, will also carry out a series of advocacy meetings and workshops in the 16 cities and one municipality of Metro Manila for the enforcement of their anti-smoking ordinance.

“We will also train our traffic enforcers, other enforcers from LGUs (local government units) and police on how to properly enforce the provisions of Republic Act (R.A.) 9211 or the Anti-Tobacco Use Program,” Nacianceno said.

Likewise, the MMDA is looking at refurbishing the prevailing regulations on tobacco use of the local city councils.

According to Bloomberg Initiative (BI), tobacco is responsible for the death of more than 14,000 people every day. Unless urgent action is taken, tobacco will kill eight million people a year by 2030, 80 percent of which are in developing countries, BI said.

The BI Grants Program for the reduction of tobacco use is jointly managed by the The Union and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. (PNA) DCT/CLTC

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